After trying three heavier weight classes at the outset of her mixed martial arts career, Glory Watson found her competitive comfort zone during her most recent outing at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono earlier this month.
Watson’s debut in the strawweight (115-pound) division proved to be the most dominating performance to date during her rapid rise within the region’s amateur MMA ranks. She required just 83 seconds to score a first-round technical knockout victory over Canadian Lin MacMillan.
The win was the sixth in a row for the Brewer High School graduate at the outset of a busy amateur career that began 15 months ago with an opening-round stoppage of Chelsea Tucker on June 16, 2018.
So why is lighter better for the 25-year-old Watson, the sixth-ranked women’s fighter, pound for pound, in New England, according to tapology.com?
“Because I’m a very small human,” said the 5-foot-2 Watson, who previously had fought at 125, 130 and 140 pounds. “I’m very short, and it’s hard to fight someone that’s so much taller, especially at the higher [weights]. Ten pounds makes a big difference, so if I can cut to 115, I might as well do it.
“I did it for this fight and felt great all camp. My strength was all there, and my movement was a lot better. I think 115 is going to be my home from now on.”
Already the NEF flyweight (125-pound) champion, Watson may be in line to fight for the promotion’s vacant strawweight title at NEF 41, scheduled for Nov. 9 at the Aura nightclub in Portland.
“One of the things that really has Glory shining is that every fight she looks better, she implements what we’ve worked on and she’s improving constantly,” said Chris Young, Watson’s trainer at Young’s MMA in Bangor. “A lot of that has to do with her work ethic, with her being in the gym all the time training hard.”
Young said it likely won’t be much longer before Watson jumps to the professional ranks.
“We would like one more amateur fight, hopefully for the title at strawweight, and then go pro,” he said. “No matter how that fight goes, whether it’s a win or loss, it’s probably a pro fight after that.”
Young’s enthusiasm is based on part on Watson’s performance against MacMillian, which came in the aftermath of her toughest bout to date, a razor-thin split-decision victory over Oregon’s Caree Hill in June to capture the NEF flyweight belt.
“That was the fight that really solidified that Glory needs to go to 115,” he said. “She’s strong at 115. She could compete at 125, she can compete at 135, but 115 is definitely the best place for her.”