Burt Watson: Making It Easier for Fans to Pick A Side

By Dave Madden @DMaddenMMA

josh hodges at fstoppers.com

Working with passion manipulates the mundane into magnificent. This point was illustrated poignantly by the man who transformed a position dully titled: event coordinator into a role entrusted and revered by MMA promotions, from the grandest stage to the regional circuit: Burt Watson “Babysitter to the Stars.” Watson’s spirit for the fighters allows his lenses to perpetually refocus, never complacent or content. As a special guest on the MMA Latest P4P Podcast, the fiery grumble of Watson, as usual, energetically expressed his love for the athletes, whether they are in the red corner or the blue, and during his interview, listeners discovered that fans’ differentiation of the two originated from Watson’s insight.

“There was a time, way back, possibly in the UFC 40s or 50s. There was one of those shows where two guys were on the ground. At the time, they had different holds on each other, and when the camera shot in on their hands, there was nothing but white tape on top of their gloves.”

Watson’s role centered on spotlighting those who display incredible feats of kinetic energy, and he noticed the inability to distinguish fighter A from fighter B prevented the two from receiving the recognition they deserved. Watson continued,

“I saw that, and all I saw were their hands; I couldn’t see who it was. At that point, I said, ‘You know, I think I need to change that.’

Keen to the fighters’ needs to individualize themselves as much as possible, Watson was on the move,

“I called Uline, who were the makers of that red tape. They made the red tape in boxing; I asked them if they could do blue, and they said, ‘Yes.’”

Currently, anyone who tunes into a sporting event pitting two athletes toe-to-toe, with few rules to act as spacers, is accustomed to the contrastive colors. Thankfully, Watson’s willingness to experiment put the combatants’ caregiver into action. Watson kept rollin’,

“They sent me a roll of red and blue tape. I took that red and blue tape and put red on the red fighter and blue on the blue fighter. It has since become the standard in MMA and boxing.”

As much care and consideration as the Philly resident pours into those who he is contracted to look after, Watson’s evaluation of such a minor adjustment in the sport was endearing because it reminded us to take pride in what we do:

“I’m slapping myself in the head because I will take credit for that because this is: for real Baby! It helps with the cameras to shoot in; it helps when you can’t see the fighter’s face. You can still see that red and blue tape.”

Soaking in a Podcast featuring Burt Watson is similar to a concoction of positive affirmation, sprinkled with natural herbs, and a dashed with artificial stimulants (only to make up the difference in energy levels). Continuously in a mode of cramming for finals, Watson’s study of the fight game positions him as not only iconic but a “Babysitter to the future of MMA.”


Check out this episode of the MMA Latest P4P Podcast and others at:


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