By: King Eddie
Brad Tavares began his career right here on the islands. He fought and trained side by side with many of you who visit this site. His assent into the UFC has been a thing of beauty to behold, as he continues to grow his game and put on amazing performances.
Though Tavares did not recieve a $40k bonus check for Fight Of The Night from Dana White and the UFC, he and Tom Watson were informed shortly after the event, by the fans and fellow fighters, that their bout clearly deserved the title of the evening. The two warriors battled back and forth, never stopping their pursuit of the finish. I spoke with Tavares, shortly after his bout in England with the hard hitting Tom Watson, and he had some interesting insight indeed.
"The Bonuses sometimes lean towards the main card fighters, you know. But it just gives me something more to work for. I have to work harder to get on that main card."
The MMAD product expressed that his base was built in Hawaii, and since his move to the mainland, he has merely improved upon what his coaches from the islands constructed. Now working with Ray Sefo and others at Xtreme Couture, Tavares has two homes to train in now. He feels that his ability to train more on the mainland lend to his progress in the sport, but we never fail to see him back in the gym in Hawaii whenever he gets the time. He is a warrior from Hawaii who has a chance to make a career out of fighting, so he does whatever he can to elevate his game in the sport, and opportunity for other fighters in Hawaii as well.
"Yeah working with Ray Sefo is a perfect fit. But not just with him, all of my coaches. My strength and conditioning coach and my Jiu-Jitsu coaches. They are all helping me to elevate my game to the next level. I'm not saying that what I had in Hawaii wasn't good, but I just have more time to perfect my game out here."
Every round of the 3 part battle was aggressivley contested, and not an inch was taken without a vicious exchange. Though many didn't know much of Tom Watson in the US, the Brits definitely loved and respected him. He is highly regarded across the pond as one of their top fighters, and Brad Tavares clearly just took the wind right from his sails tonight.
"After the first round I think I frustrated him, but he just kept coming. It kind of helped me because he was standing in front of me. Not like my last fight with Yang, who kept moving and working off of angles. Going into this fight that was part of the gameplan. Watson is the type of guy that wants to set the pace. He likes you to be at the end of his reach" Said Tavares. "I noticed that when some guys get in his face and keep the pressure on him, he gets frustrated a little bit. So Ray sefo and I, that was our plan and we went right to it. I got in there and established the jab early. I stayed right in his face and didn't let him dictate the pace of the fight, or where it was going."
After a clear three round victory, many were shocked to hear that Tavares only took the victory via split decision. But Watson's camp wasted no time in telling Tavares how they really felt on the matter, which earned them his respect eternally.
"After the fight Tom and his coaches came up to me and told me that they knew I won that fight. They said that I won the fight, and that I won every round of that fight. That I took in unanimously. And that was really a great thing for them to do because a lot of people were confused by the scoring, but it just shows you what kind of guys they are to say that to me."
Now that the smoke has cleared, neither fighter will be going home with an extra $40k. But each will be returning with a boat load of respect from the fans, fellow fighters, and UFC bosses.
Congratulations to Brad Tavares and yet another Stellar UFC performance.