Tom Watson seeks his second title defense on May 21. | Jim Page/Sherdog.com
Tom “Kong” Watson will put his British Association of Mixed Martial Arts middleweight title on the line against Murilo “Ninja” Rua in the main event of BAMMA 6, the promotion announced Wednesday.
The event takes place May 21 at Wembley Arena in London and will be the organization’s second show to air live on U.K. cable network Syfy.
“‘Ninja’ is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting and top middleweight fighters in the world,” Watson stated in a release. “I am so excited that this fight will happen in London for the U.K. fans. I have no doubt this will be a war.”
Watson last defended his belt with a five-round unanimous decision against Alex Reid last September in the headliner of BAMMA 4. According to the promotion, that fight drew more than 835,000 viewers in its broadcast on former cable home Bravo, making it the most watched U.K. MMA event of all time.
Two weeks prior to the Reid bout, the 28-year-old champion suffered his first loss since 2007, dropping a unanimous verdict to Jesse Taylor at MFC 26 in Enoch, Alberta, Canada. Watson had previously won eight straight, including victories over Matt Horwich and Travis Galbraith.
Rua, 30, will look to rebound from an October upset loss at the hands of Cesar Gracie protégé Roy Boughton. The former Pride Fighting Championships notable and older brother of UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua went 2-1 on the year in 2010, earning wins against Jeremy May and Arturo Arcemendes. Rua and Watson share common opponents in Reid (who both defeated), Xavier Foupa-Pokam and Daijiro Matsui, the latter two of whom bested Watson while losing to Rua.