If you’ve ever found yourself entranced by a raspy, baritone voice calling out “We’re rollin!” from the locker rooms of a UFC event, then you are undoubtedly familiar with the UFC’s “babysitter to the stars,” Burt Watson. I will be the first to admit that in my infinite wisdom, I once failed to recognize one of the most crucial members of the sport’s highest promotion when he was caught on camera during one of Dana White’s infamous Danavlogs. It is to this date the biggest mindfart I have ever farted (which is saying something), but needless to say, without Watson shuffling fighters around, organizing them for press conferences, and getting them amped up for their fights, the UFC would be a shell of the “well-oiled machine” that it truly is.
Wanting to recognize the crucial role Watson plays in the UFC, Sportsnet recently dedicated a brief video to his greatness, reeling in such UFC stars as Georges. St Pierre (who does a hilarious Watson impression when prompted), Frank Mir, Junior dos Santos, and even the boss man himself to sing his praises. So check it out if you’ve got a couple extra minutes, and leave your own praises in the comments section.
Here’s what Dana White had to say about the man behind the scenes:
Burt actually started from day one. I brought a lot of boxing guys into the UFC. Burt was actually a friend of a guy who used to work for us. We got introduced to Burt and he is literally the best in the business. He is a guy that all the fighters respect. He’s a guy that’s been in the fight game forever. He’s a good man. Whatever [the fighters] need, Burt’s there for them, and when Burt needs what he needs, they respect that and do what Burt tells them to do. [Ed. note: Unless they are Jason Miller.] Burt literally runs [the] backstage. He runs the show from backstage and people would be shocked to realize what a big job that is and how hard it is.
Really, everyone in the fight business could not speak highly enough of Watson.
Frank Mir: “[Watson] is definitely the general that keeps the machine running.”
Jake Shields: “He’s one of the more important people in the UFC that no one knows.”
Greg Jackson: “He’s an amazing individual. The UFC, honestly, wouldn’t be where it is if it wasn’t for Burt Watson taking care of all the fighters.”
Mark Bocek: “I really don’t think the UFC would be the same without him.”
When asked about Burt’s signature rally cry, guys like Roy Nelson, Donald Cerrone, and Carlos Condit all related it to “the work horn,” or that final bit of preparation that readies them for the cage. Nick Diaz, of course, is not a huge fan of it:
I don’t like it, but I mean, I’m used to it though. That’s where experience comes into play, and I’m ready for Burt. I’m like, ‘Come on Burt, where you at?’
I swear to God, Nick Diaz could hate the first ray of sunshine after a storm.