Kyle Watson (pictured) returns to the Octagon for the second time this Saturday as he takes on John Makdessi at UFC 129. Photo courtesy of Spike TV

The Ultimate Fighter season 12 semifinalist Kyle Watson (13-6-1) will fight in front of the biggest crowd in UFC history this weekend as UFC 129 rolls into the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

In what is just Watson’s second UFC bout, the 31-year-old H.I.T. Squad product will face undefeated lightweight John “The Bull” Makdessi (8-0).

Watson knows he is just getting started in the big show and is taking it one fight at a time. Having an ultimate goal of becoming a top contender one day, Watson’s first order of business is Makdessi.

Watson spoke with‘s Josh Cross this past week about his history with Makdessi, how the two match up and why he feels he has multiple ways to defeat him.

Watson also discussed what it means to be part of such a historic card, fighting in front of 55,000 fans, his time on The Ultimate Fighter and much more. Take it away fellas.

PRO MMA NOW: First off, can you talk about your training camp for this fight and how it’s going?

KYLE WATSON: Training camp is going great man. I’ve just stayed at my home gym for the majority of the camp, the H.I.T. Squad. I’ve got a lot of good guys to work with so I don’t really have to travel too much so that’s one of the nice things. I’ve had a couple of offers to go to some other gyms to work out but I like staying home and being comfortable, and plus I’ve got a lot of responsibilities at the gym as far as being a coach as well, so I don’t like to leave my students when I don’t have to. So I’ve stayed at my gym for the training camp and it has gone great. I’ve had a lot of time to prepare and I feel like I’ve put together a solid game plan and I’m feeling real focused.

PRO MMA NOW: Now how much do you know about your opponent, and of what you do know, what do you think the most dangerous thing about him will be in this fight?

KYLE WATSON: I’ve looked him up and I know quite a bit about him. I even got the opportunity to train with him a bit when I went up to Montreal late last year, so I definitely know what he brings to the table. He’s got a good striking skill set. What makes him the most dangerous is just his unpredictability. He definitely throws strikes at strange angles and he throws some unorthodox stuff so I’d say it’s probably the thing that I’ll have to watch out for the most.

PRO MMA NOW: Most of your wins have come by submission and most of your opponents’ have come by TKO. Knowing that, do you want this fight to stay on the ground, and how comfortable do you feel if the fight remains standing?

KYLE WATSON: You know, a lot of people have been saying that, and obviously they are looking at it stylistically and looking at both of our wins. There’s no secret to where we would both prefer to be, but that being said, you know I’m sure he’s training on the ground. He’s got good guys up there and he knows I’m training stand-up up here. I’ve been training stand-up for a long time. It’s like sometimes some of my fights I haven’t shown my full skill-set standing up and I’m not saying that this is the fight to show that, but at the same time I’m not desperate to get it to the floor. I’ve got great strikers here that I train with every day like Brian Foster being one of them. Brian’s one of the best strikers I’ve ever got to train with from an MMA standpoint and I spar with him two to three times a week and I defiantly feel like he is a better striker than John. There’s not like any big surprises that John is going to be as far as stand-up. Plus me having already sparred with him, I kind of know what he’s got. That’s not to say that he’s not dangerous. He’s still tough and I’m not necessarily going in there to try to knock him out, but at the same time, I’m not going in there like gun shy and scared that I have to get him to the floor immediately.

PRO MMA NOW: You’ve said that you feel like there are several ways that you can see yourself finishing this fight. Can you talk about that and how you see in your eyes the fight playing out Saturday night?

KYLE WATSON: I definitely feel like I have a broader skill set than the does. I don’t see him trying to take me to the floor. I don’t him trying to wrestle me and hangout in the clinch with me, so that takes away some of his weapons. I mean I’m very dangerous in the clinch and I know I have good knees. I’m very strong there and I have good takedowns from there. Obviously on the ground, I know he doesn’t want to be there with me at all, so that right there, between the clinch, the cage and the floor, that takes away a lot of things right there when I know that’s not where he’s going to want to be at all in the fight. That leaves him with the striking and like I said, while I’m not necessarily going in there trying to look to take his head off, I can win there as well. I feel comfortable on me feet too so I just feel like I have more ways to win. Does that mean that it’s going to be an easy fight? No, not at all, I definitely see it being a battle and very back and forth. It might take three or four attempts to get a single takedown, and then once I get him down, I can see him getting back up. I’m just going to have to ware on him and keep pressing the action until I finally get him down and keep him down.

PRO MMA NOW: Moving beyond this fight, looking specifically at your career, are there any specific goals or things you want to accomplish in the near future?

KYLE WATSON: Like immediate goals I guess just part of it is just proving to myself and also proving to everyone else that I belong in the lightweight division in the UFC, and that I belong at this high level. I’m not anywhere close to being in one of the top 10 slots, but I definitely think that I have a lot to prove to show people that I’m not just a guy who got lucky enough to be on a reality show and that I actually got on there by my own skill. That’s my goal for now to just get a win at a time until the UFC deems me a contender.

PRO MMA NOW: This is going to be your fist time fighting on a UFC PPV in front of 55,000 fans in Toronto. Are nerves an issue for you, and do you think they could be Saturday night?

KYLE WATSON: I think there are nerves that go into every fight, but I don’t think it’s going to affect me. I don’t think the crowd is going to make a difference and the location. I appreciate the fans whether they’re cheering for me or not, because they allow me to do what I love. I don’t think it’s going to affect me once I get in there and the cage closes. I’ll just be locked on him and my corner men. I don’t’ think it adds any pressure. For me a fight is a fight. Obviously I’m excited to be a part of this one and I don’t want to play that down at all. It’s like definitely an amazing opportunity but again but at the end of the day it’s just him and I in there. We’re just going to find out who is the better one that night.

PRO MMA NOW: What does it mean to you personally to be fighting on this stacked card headlined by GSP, who was your coach on The Ultimate Fighter Season 12?

KYLE WATSON: For me personally I’m just really thankful that I got the opportunity. I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity if Jonathan Brookins hand not of turned the fight down. I’m just so excited that no matter where my career goes from here, I’ll still be able to look back and say that I fought on one of the [most] historic shows of the UFC’s history. I’m just really thankful to be able to add that to my resume. It’s a very unique opportunity that kind of fell in my lap, but I’m going to run with it.

PRO MMA NOW: Can you talk about how being on Season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter helped you in your progress as an MMA fighter?

KYLE WATSON: I got a lot from being on the show. Not just all of it was about being a fighter. I learned a lot about myself as far a like my limitations and different things about myself as far as how I handle myself emotionally and mentally and things like that. It definitely just pushed your limits and boundaries on that show just the way that it was set up. I would say that I learned a lot about myself, and didn’t go there with the intention, but came away with several friends and also came away with a better skill set. I learned a lot from George and his coaches and not just technique. I also learned a lot about just more efficient training and methods. George is very inspiring with his work ethic and you know his coaches showing what they do to prepare him. I definitely learned a lot from their philosophy and took that along with me.

PRO MMA NOW: Have you kept in contact with GSP since the show, and if so, have you talked with him about this card at all?

KYLE WATSON: You know I did. I was keeping up with him. I wouldn’t say like often but you know every few weeks I would him a message and John Danaher. I was staying in touch with them. However with the matchup and me fighting one of his guys I’ve just kind of been respectfully giving them their space just because of the circumstance. I did get a really nice message from John’s [Makdessi] striking coach because I actually worked with him while I was up there oddly enough. He just sent me a message saying hey, that’s the way the cookie crumbles kind of thing and that he would be happy to resume our friendship after this fight.

PRO MMA NOW: What would be the best way for fans to keep track of what you’ve got coming up in the future?

KYLE WATSON: I have a Facebook fan page and my Twitter handle is @KyleWatsonTUF12. I update those pretty regularly with what’s going on with me both fighting and personally and like what is going on with my students. Coaching is a big part of my life too and I’m always taking my Jiu-Jitsu guys places to compete and seminars and everything like that. Those are defiantly places that people can get a hold of me.

PRO MMA NOW: Are there any people you want to thank or sponsors you want to plug?

KYLE WATSON: You know what, I won’t on the sponsors not because I wouldn’t want to thank anybody, because I obviously would. I honestly kind of left it in my managers hands and I don’t know who all is confirmed right now for my sponsors and I don’t have that list. I don’t want to be spouting off names and not even being sure, but as far as thanking people, obviously the biggest thing is just thanking the fans. Those are the people that keep the fights going and allowing us athletes to continue our jobs, so a huge thanks to all of the fans, even the ones that won’t be rooting for me. I really appreciate it.

PRO MMA NOW: Anything else you want to add?

KYLE WATSON: I think that’s it. Just stay tuned because this fight has the potential to be a great one. I respect John a lot and I think he’s a tough opponent and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t see this being an easy fight. I think it’s going to be an exciting one, back and forth, but a good one to watch, and I feel my hand will be raised at the end.

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