The common goal among most up-and-coming regional (or international) mixed martial arts (MMA) prospects is to one day compete for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Other major promotions such as Bellator MMA, Professional Fighter’s Leagues, and ONE Championship are not far behind. Literally, countless prospects across the globe are all working toward the same career goal, making it difficult to stand out in the sea of competition. As often as possible, MMAmania.com will highlight a different combat sports prospect to keep your eyes on.
Weight class: Welterweight/Middleweight
Gym: American Top Team - Team Lima
Undefeated (2-0) in professional mixed martial arts (MMA), 21-year-old Reese Watkins is quickly becoming a must-watch television prospect because he is violent and hasn’t been involved in a boring fight yet.
“Baby Goose” is coming off a violent knockout of Nick Navarro, which took place last weekend (Fri., Sept. 8, 2023) at Ring of Combat 81.
Check it out below:
Got the W. Second round KO. pic.twitter.com/Tjvu7JFQdg— baby mf’ing goose (@babygoosemma) September 9, 2023
Watkins got into MMA through Brazilian jiu-jitsu when he was 14. After switching gyms and doing very well, his jiu-jitsu instructor, Bruno Frazatto, recommended that he give MMA a shot.
“Bruno asked me, ‘Have you ever thought about doing MMA?’ And he said, ‘I think you’d be good at it.’ It was kind of in the back of my mind. So I was like, ‘yeah, like, check it out,’” Watkins told MMAMania.com recently. “I started doing Muay Thai and then took a Muay Thai fight in an International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) tournament. It just spiraled from there, from doing Muay Thai fights to taking MMA fights.”
“Baby Goose” went 5-1 as an amateur, with four knockout wins. He now holds a 100 percent finish rate, and like I said before, he is entertaining to watch.
Watkins wants one more fight in 2023 and then hopes to be signed to a bigger regional promotion such as Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) or Fury Fighting Championship (Fury FC).
The young prospect does not want to rush to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) because he has seen what happens when green fighters get locked inside the Octagon without much experience ... it usually doesn’t end well.
“I would like to be in the UFC by 25,” Watkins said. “I don’t want to make the mistake and like curse myself and being like, ‘Oh, I want to be the youngest UFC champion or whatever.’ When it happens, it’ll happen.
“Hopefully, I’ll make it,” he continued. “And until then, you know I’ve sparred with world champions and high-level UFC fighters. They’re world champions for a reason, you know, that’s like a dumb thing to say, but they’re good. So, I don’t want to rush it. I don’t want to rush my career and get to that high level and realize I skipped a level — skip a level of development.
“But, I definitely want to get there by 24, or 25 for sure,” Watkins concluded. “If it happens sooner, good. But, I don’t want to rush anything.”
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