Every aspiring fighter dreams of having gold around their waist when they turn professional. In today’s episode of Across The Pond, you will meet two champion fighters hoping to earn UFC call-ups in the very near future.
A professional since June 2014 and representing Royal Martial Arts and Conquest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Robert Watley owns a 10-1 record in 11 career bouts consisting of five decisions, four knockouts and one submission. Watley is the current LFA lightweight champion with two successful title defences. At Shogun Fights 11, he defeated Spencer Strube via TKO in the third round. Watley defeated Pat Sabatini via unanimous decision at CFFC 45. Next, he submitted Daniel Chacon in the first round via rear naked choke at Shogun Fights 12. Watley defeated Sergio de Bari via unanimous decision at CFFC 50. He knocked out Dan Root in the second round at Shogun Fights 14 and defeated Cole Presley via unanimous decision at Shogun Fights 15. At Xtreme Caged Combat 27, Watley defeated Josh Visel via TKO in the third round.
In his Legacy Fighting Alliance debut, he faced Brazilian Thiago Moises in the main event of LFA 17 and defeated him via unanimous decision to earn the LFA lightweight title. In his first title defence, Watley defeated Daryl Wilson via TKO in the third round in the main event of LFA 27. For his second title defence, he faced Brandon Jenkins in the main event of LFA 34 and defeated him via unanimous decision and extended his winning streak to 10 in the process. This terror of the beltway has definitely gotten to the top of the UFC‘S list!
A professional since September 2014 and representing Marinoble’s Martial Arts and MMA Gold Fight Team, Anthony Hernandez owns an undefeated 6-0 record consisting of four submissions, one knockout and one decision. Hernandez is the current LFA middleweight champion and has also competed for Global Knockout and West Coast Fighting Championship. In his MMA debut at WFC 11, he knocked out Trey Williams in the first round. Hernandez submitted his next two opponents in Preston Snook and Kenny Ento. Next, at Global Knockout 7, he submitted Jumoke Hunter in the first round via guillotine choke. Hernandez also tapped out Mike Persons in the first round at Global Knockout 9. In his Legacy Fighting Alliance debut, he faced Brendan Allen in the main event of LFA 32 and defeated him via unanimous decision to become the LFA middleweight champion and improved his unbeaten streak to six to begin his professional career. At just 24 years of age, this young lion has certainly come out roaring!
With his second successful title defence in the main event of LFA 34, I believe Watley has firmly put himself in the driver’s seat for a call-up to the UFC after having won his 10th straight contest. He has shown the poise and composure that a true champion possesses throughout his time with LFA. The lightweight division is already considerably deep, so the addition of Watley will give extra depth.
Although LFA has a history of sending fighters to the UFC, I believe Hernandez is at least one title defence away from earning a UFC call-up. I think his youth and the fact that five of his six career wins have come in the first round will aid him as his professional career continues. It will be interesting to see who Hernandez will fight in his first title defence. I expect both gentlemen to be in the UFC by the latter half of 2018!
Anthony’s professional debut at WFC 11
Hernandez v Snook GKO 4
Hernandez v Hunter Global Knockout 7
Robert’s 3rd round TKO of Daryl Wilson in the main event of LFA 27
Robert’s unanimous decision victory in the main event of LFA 17