Fighters and fans were caught off guard two Saturdays ago at Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) 49 when they heard a familiar voice backstage at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. What they heard was “We rollin!”, a well-known catchphrase coined by former UFC event coordinator and Philadelphia native, Burt Watson. After 14 years with the UFC, Watson left on his own terms after a disagreement with someone in the organization earlier this year. Adored by fighters and fans alike, Watson couldn’t keep himself out of the game for long. Although he was supposed to be a spectator for this event, Watson couldn’t help himself. As the main and co-main event approached, Watson found himself backstage yet again directing traffic.
“I felt like a samurai getting ready for war with him (Watson) giving me a motivational speech,” stated Sidemar “Sideco” Honorio who successfully defended his CFFC flyweight title at the event. “He was walking in front of me screaming powerful words, and then we walk down the stairs and he stopped, pointed his finger towards the cage saying ‘go and do what you came here to do’.”
It’s this type of inspiration and direction that CFFC CEO Robert Haydak Jr. hopes that Watson can bring on consistent basis to CFFC. “Motivating and giving fighters a comfort level at the highest level is my goal,” stated Watson. “Every professional MMA fighter can fight and deserves all the hype they can get to get the job done. That's how and why I ‘roll’, thus ‘We Rollin’.”
"Just hearing or saying the name Burt Watson puts a smile on my face. His energy and passion is contagious and lifts everyone in his presence,” stated Haydak. “Every day we strive to become a better promotion. Since day one, I've said we're going to do things systematically and at the right time. They say timing is everything. The time for CFFC and Burt Watson is now and I'm pumped.”
Watson gave some insight as to why he chose CFFC over other organizations that have contacted him. “Shortly after my departure from the UFC, I started getting a few calls for personal appearances and possible future work,” continued Watson. “My first email and conversation with Rob (Haydak) was very positive, very to the point and went directly to me coming to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the show on June 6th. I could see and feel the excitement. Incidentally, this was the first time I drove to an event in about six years! That visit led to our next meeting and getting a deal done.”
Affectionately known as the “Babysitter to the Stars”, Watson will have a similar role in the CFFC in which he held in the UFC. He will ensure that fighters are prepared, ready, and that the show runs smoothly. His hype is genuine and with the respect that Watson commands, fighters will experience an event with the utmost professionalism in the sport. “MMA is just getting started and CFFC already seems to have won the first round,” concluded Watson.