Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"
Covid-Era MMA has been extremely taxing on all of us, but for budding amateur prospects; like Young's MMA's Glory "The Fury" Watson (6-1, as an Amateur) who are looking to finally make the leap to the professional ranks, this lull in action has been particularly difficult. The 26 year old Watson has been eager to punch her professional ticket since she finished her Amateur career in November of 2019 with a narrow decision loss to Cara Greenwell (10-5) at NEF 41 in what very well may have been the best Amateur Women's fight I've witnessed live in some time. It was apparent to everyone packed inside the Aura Night Club in Portland's Old Port that night for NEF 41 that this was a battle between two highly skilled girls, on the cusp of the professional ranks.
Glory was signed to make her professional debut with the hometown New England Fights at NEF 43 in April 2020 against Grace Nowak (0-2), when Covid changed everyone's plans. NEF 43 was pushed back until June and eventually cancelled due to Maine State guidelines resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. However Watson continued to push, training every chance she would get, knowing that her team lead by Chris Young of Young's MMA would find her the opportunity to finally make the leap.
It's been sixteen months now since Glory's epic battle with Cara Greenwell in Portland, Maine and the wait for her return is nearly over. It took a leap...a big leap, Watson has never fought away from her native New England, but as months began to stack up, it was imminent to Watson's team; if she was going to get a fight, it was going to require some travel. That notion came true when Florida based Triton Fights came calling with interest in promoting the debut of highly anticipated Strawweight prospect Glory "The Fury" Watson. For Glory and her team this was a no brainer, Glory signed to make her professional debut at Triton Fights 18 Saturday, March 27th against fellow debuting professional, and Florida native; Ariana Melendez (3-2 as an Amateur).
We caught up with Glory ahead of her debut next Saturday night in Plant City, Florida at Triton Fights 18 to get an idea of what has been going through her head as she is about to end a sixteen month layoff from competition to make her professional debut, away from home, in what will prove to be the biggest fight of her Martial Arts Career.
FCW: What was camp like? Were you able to have a full camp? Did Covid-19 have any bearing on how you prepared for this fight?
Glory Watson: This has been, by far, the hardest camp I have ever had. That being said, it has also been the best. My skills improve everyday, my cardio is on point and my mental game improves daily. COVID-19 did have an impact on my training camp in the form of, smaller groups of people training together and a very consistent group of people to avoid exposure to too many people.
FCW: So you kept your circle small? Who have been your main training partners for this camp?
Glory Watson: This is my professional debut, so having good and consistent training partners was essential! Aaron Lacey and Richard Martel have been present at almost every one of my sessions helping me prepare. Along with that, Jason Bell and Ryan Burgess have spent countless hours driving to and from Young’s MMA to give me some amazing rounds. Another local fighter, Caleb Austin, traveled to Bangor on multiple occasions to train with me.
FCW: Tell me a little bit about how this match up with Ariana Melendez came about?
Glory Watson: The last few months of 2020 and the early months of 2021, my team has been looking for a match up. We received great feedback from many promotions, but when the offer for Ariana Melendez was presented, we knew we wanted the fight!
FCW: Any nerves about traveling down to Florida to make your pro debut?
Glory Watson: This will be the first fight that I will have to travel by plane to the venue. I am very confident with my weight cut. My team and I have worked hard developing a system to ensure I am on weight for weigh-ins and ready to go for fight night!
FCW: Do you feel like traveling outside of the region will help prepare you for more success during you pro career?
Glory Watson: Traveling for my pro debut will provide a lot of insight into the huge world that is mixed martial arts. Many professional fighters travel all over the world to fight, and this is my first step toward that journey.
FCW: What are we going to see at Triton 18 next Saturday that will surprise everyone about you? You've obviously added to your skill set within the last year plus. What is going to be the most notable change in Glory Watson the fighter?
Glory Watson: On March 27th, you can expect to see the work I have been putting in for the past year. My skills have improved, my conditioning has never been better and mentally I am a different fighter.
FCW: Finally who would you like to thank? Coaches, Supporters, Teammates, Sponsors, Friends/Family? Shout outs, now is the time!
Glory Watson: I need to give a huge thank you to Christopher Young, he has made many sacrifices to help prepare me for my professional debut and I wouldn’t be here without him. He is truly an amazing coach that deserves recognition for his hard work. Kira Innocenti, she has given hours upon hours of her life to my fight career and I am eternally thankful for everything she has done to help me. Jewels Watson, she has been incredibly helpful and tolerant! Aaron Lacey, for being at EVERY training session, punching me in the face, squishing me and pushing me to be my best. Jason Bell, has been a wonderful coach, amazing training partner and one of my biggest fans. A huge thank you to my team! Throughout camp a few training partners made some appearances; BJ Garceau, Catie Denning, Jackson Campbell, Jayce Murphy, Brooke Morin, also the team at Nostos MMA in Somersworth, NH. Each and every person in my camp had immense value and I’m grateful to have such an amazing team behind me. When it comes to supporters, I have so many, too many to count! My family has supported me since the beginning and the support continues to grow! There are nearly 50 people making the trek from Maine to Florida to show their support! Finally my sponsors, whom without, this journey would be incredibly difficult;
•Jennifer Moon, LMT
•Monty Rand Photography
•Will Cassio @the_grim_willis on IG
•Aflac, The Scott Agency
•Sea Dog Cantina, Bert Follero
•Tuffy Bear Discount Furniture
•Farrar Carpentry Services
•Twin City Tire, Dave Matson
•Florida Pro Realty
•Momo’s Cheesecakes Bakery
•ONE NORTH Skincare
•Reflections Hair Salon
•And MMA Tee Company for doing my merchandise!
We would like to thank Glory Watson for taking the time to answer a few question ahead of her highly anticipated pro debut and the Team here at NewEnglandMMA.org wish you "best of skill" as you represent the New England Region at Triton Fights 18 on March 27th!
**Photographs used with permission from Monty Rand Photography.**