Mitch Gagnon and Walel Watson square off during the UFC 152 weigh-ins at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at The Gardens on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 in Toronto. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting.
The 2nd of 3 preliminary card fights on Facebook is in the bantamweight division, as Canada's Mitch Gagnon (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) fights Walel Watson (9-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at UFC 152 in Toronto, Canada. It is the only 135 lbs fight on this card and for Gagnon it's a chance to fight in front of his home province crowd of Ontario. Neither man is ranked in the SB Nation MMA Consensus Rankings.
Gagnon took an entertaining but tough loss in his last fight, and Watson has dropped his last two. This could easily be a "loser goes home" matchup. The Facebook broadcast kicks off at 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT before the preliminary card hits FX for two hours from 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Gagnon: 27 years old | 5'5" | 68" reach
Watson: 28 years old | 5'11" | 75" reach
How did these two get here?
Gagnon, fighting out of Sudbury, Ontario, fought all of his regional bouts in Quebec, finishing all 8 of his victories with 1 loss to Will Ribeiro. His method of submissions are primarily guillotine and rear-naked chokes, but in his UFC debut vs. Bryan Caraway he was finished via RNC in the 3rd round. He is a wrestler with a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and holds a significant ground advantage over Watson. If he can exploit Watson's weaknesses then Gagnon will be on his way towards his first UFC victory.
"The Gazelle" spent much of his regional career in Mexico, and in October 2011 he made his UFC debut against Joseph Sandoval. He showed off impressive striking and easily stopped Sandoval in just 77 seconds. Watson took Yves Jabouin the distance in a razor-thin fight that saw him lose by split decision. At UFC on FUEL 1, TJ Dillashaw completely destroyed Watson on the ground to the point where two judges scored it 30-25 for TJ. Watson is still far from pleased that the Jabouin decision went against him in Toronto, so he's aiming to make his return to Canada a potentially job-saving success.
Why should you care?
These are pretty entertaining fighters desperate for a victory to assure job security. It's definitely the best fight on the Facebook broadcast in terms of competitiveness and bantamweights (and lighter weight classes in general) bring the fun.
More UFC 152 coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
SBN coverage of UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort