Welcome to the UFC: Trey Waters

Trey Waters, UFC Vegas 72 weigh-in
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 28: Trey Waters poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on April 28, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The UFC stays at home in the Apex this weekend, with bantamweights Song Yadong and Ricky Simon facing off in the main event. UFC Vegas 72 also features a full five debuting fighters, none of whom made their way to the promotion via the Contender Series— pretty rare in this day and age. Among them, Trey Waters has stepped up on short notice to face take on Josh Quinlan in a welterweight fight, replacing Ange Loosa.

Trey “The Truth” Waters
Standing at six-foot-five
Fighting at 170 lbs (welterweight)
Fighting out of Jacksonville, Florida, US
Training out of Ludus MMA
A pro record of 7-1
3 KO/TKOs, 3 Submissions

How will Waters fare in the UFC:

Waters is getting this fight on short notice after recently winning a little over two weeks ago. That recent win saw Waters capture the LFA welterweight championship, knocking out Jalin Fuller. Before that, Waters was seen on the Contender Series but came up short to Gabriel Bonfim. Being an LFA veteran and Contender Series alum it was a matter of time before Waters was signed to the UFC.

Waters is a long fighter that uses his length well. He has a long right hand and a snapping jab while throwing a lot of kicks on the outside. While being so solid at a distance, in close his muay thai is also very good. Sometimes he can be low output but does well at using feints to freeze his opponents. Waters is more of a striker but will threaten the neck when it’s there.

Waters has a bad problem with keeping his hands low. He has a lot of range but that hasn’t stopped him from getting touched up. He also struggles with his back against the cage and doesn’t check leg kicks. His loss to Bonfim isn’t a bad loss but in the fight before and after that fight Waters was losing until he scored the knockout.

I believe Waters needed a few more fights before coming to the UFC. Yes, he looks good on paper but if you look at his last three fights closely, you would see he’s not currently UFC level. Waters may be able to get a win or two in the UFC but he won’t be a threat to even mid-tier UFC welterweights without further development.

How he matches up with Josh Quinlan:

Quinlan is one of the biggest unknowns currently in the UFC. He’s been sparking guys but doesn’t fight too often and hasn’t had to show much defensively. With Quinlan, it’s all violence for him as he’s always throwing and looking to finish.

Waters is the much longer fighter so if Quinlan comes in blind Waters can catch him. The same goes for Waters. Waters holds his hands low and watching him get hit by these other guys, he probably doesn’t want to get hit by Quinlan. I like Quinlan’s pressure and I think he could make a difference with his leg kicks. The fight will be interesting if Waters survives round one but the pick is Quinlan due to having more powerful weapons.