WATSON to face the toughest test of his career
Jordan WATSON vs ALbert KRAUS at GLORY 10 L.A.
By Glory , Friday July 19, 2013
Jordan Watson, 25, comes from the highly respected Bad Company gym in Leeds, England and is a training partner of GLORY featherweight contender Liam Harrison. Having gone 2-0 in GLORY and risen to number eight in the world rankings, Watson now faces the toughest test of his career in former world number one lightweight Albert Kraus.
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The fight takes place at GLORY 10 on September 28 in Los Angeles. For Watson it’s a chance to climb the rankings towards the title shot he badly wants, and another opportunity to shine in the GLORY ring as he continues his quest towards proving himself the best in the world at 70 kilograms. Kraus is 1-1 in GLORY and coming off a loss to Andy Ristie but Watson thinks he is as dangerous as he ever was.
Kraus will be the biggest name you’ve fought in your career. What are your thoughts on this match and what do you want it to do for you?
“I’m really excited about it. I’ve had two fights for GLORY now and I think I’ve had two good performances but this will be my first match with one of the elite GLORY names. Kraus has been around a long time, he’s got a very big name.
“I’m ranked number eight at the moment and I want to climb the rankings. He’s ranked above me so if I beat him - which I am confident I can - then I can break into that top five where I want to be.”
Recently Kraus has had to contend with people saying that, at 32 and with a decade of fighting, he has faded from his best. Do you think he is any less dangerous than he used to be?
“No I don’t think so. I watched him fight at GLORY 5 against Warren Stevelmans, the same card that I was on, and I thought he looked excellent. His boxing looked good and his combinations and stamina looked good so I don’t think he’s lost anything.
“He has been around a long time but that translates into experience. He is still an elite guy, he’s still very dangerous.”
You come from a Muay Thai background. What lessons have you learned from your two GLORY fights thus far and how has that fed into your training?
“I’ve been working a lot on my boxing because that’s more important in GLORY fighting than it is in Muay Thai. And I’ve started doing strength and conditioning work, for the first time in my life I am doing weights and using a strength and conditioning coach.
“You need to be really fit for GLORY fights because there is no way to steal a rest. In Muay Thai you can clinch and you can find little ways to have a little rest but you can’t do that in GLORY. The pace is faster and it’s more tiring.
“Not that I’ve ever had problems with fitness or anything. I think for me size is the thing. Some of the guys in GLORY are massive. I’m cutting to 70kg and getting back up to 74kg, some of these guys are weighing in at 70kg and then getting up to 80kg by fight night.
“I’ve bulked up since I started working on strength and conditioning, if you see me now I look different to what I did at GLORY 5. I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel in my next fights because I feel a lot stronger now.”
Which of the two sports do you find harder on your body?
“I think generally in kickboxing you can land your shots a bit cleaner, there isn’t as much solid blocking as there is in Muay Thai. But you take more strikes and definitely more punches to the head so, it’s either way really.
“Though I did break my shin against Steve Moxon at GLORY 5 in London. First kick of the fight, I landed right on his elbow and broke my fibula. That was pretty painful. I think that’s why I started throwing knees instead of kicks. I actually didn’t notice it at the time, it was after the fight when the adrenaline wore off and suddenly I couldn’t walk, haha!”
Adrenaline is something that characterizes the GLORY experience, for fans and fighters alike. Our recent US debut - GLORY 9 NEW YORK - met with a very positive reception from US fight fans, many of whom have never been exposed to elite kickboxing before.
“It’s brilliant though isn’t it? People just going for it for three rounds, no cuddling on the floor or stupid dancing around. No big breaks between fights, straight on to the next one.
“I think its proper exciting and I really enjoy watching it. Its action straight away, as soon as the bell rings, people aren’t walking round looking at each other for two rounds before they get going. It’s what the fans want.”
While you’ve been having success at lightweight your team mate Liam Harrison has had a rough ride in the featherweight division, being stopped by Mosab Amrani at GLORY 5 and then eliminated from the GLORY 8 tournament in the second stage. What has been the reaction to that at Bad Company?
“I think he’s just been unlucky. Against Mosab it was just a good well-placed shot early in the fight and then in Japan he was doing well, all his shots were going in and then he got caught with a knee. But that’s the game, especially at this level, no matter how good you are you can always get caught with something.
“But I think it will just make him better. He’s been working on his boxing but he’s a good all-rounder anyway. Even in Muay Thai he fights like a kickboxer, a lot of hands and low kicks. He’s just not had the chance to show himself properly in GLORY yet but he will, he’s got some great fights ahead of him.”