WE ROLLIN’, YEAH! After serving 14 years as the UFC’s site manager, Burt Watson (pictured) has decided to leave the company.
“After 14 AMAZING YEARS I’ve decided to step aside thank U Dana White Lorenzo Fertitta & Donna Marcolini,” Watson tweeted Tuesday morning.
To fans, Watson was the UFC’s unofficial hype man before every weigh-ins, pleading with them to show love to the fighters who trained relentlessly for months and worked tirelessly for the past week to get on weight. To fighters, Watson was the friendly and familiar face that greeted them at an airport or hotel in a foreign country to ensure they were comfortable.
And, of course, he was always backstage yelling his trademark line to the fighters as they made the walk to the cage.
UFC color commentator dubbed him “babysitter to the stars.”
There is some controversy surrounding Watson’s exit. According to the rumor mill, Watson got into a heated exchange with another UFC employee during last Friday’s UFC 184 weigh-ins over a fighter’s weight cut.
Middleweight Mark Munoz is the only athlete who had to take additional time to make weight, which he ultimately did, but denied Watson was involved in his particular situation.
“Just so every1 knows I have utmost respect 4 @BurtWatson4real! He’s a gr8 man & gr8 at what he does! Not sure what every1 is talking about,” Munoz wrote.
While he’s never competed inside the octagon, his departure has already been felt outside of it. Several fighters have expressed their sadness with Watson’s exit.
Just to show how popular Watson is, he has over 23,000 followers on Twitter.
From a reporter’s standpoint, Watson was nothing but smiles and sunshine whenever I interacted with him.
Here’s to you, Burt:
Here’s some insight into who Watson was and what he did for the UFC: