There isn't a single professional athlete that doesn't believe they should be a champion or fight for a championship. And that holds for "The Karate Hottie" Michelle Waterson as well.
Right now, the 34-year-old strawweight pulls quadruple duty and Michelle Waterson wouldn't have it any other way. Aside from being a part-time broadcaster, a wife and mother, Waterson sits right in the middle of the 115-pound rankings at No.8.
Michelle Waterson hopeful of getting a title shot
But now the Jackson-Wink MMA pupil is zeroing in on a hopeful title shot soon. But she knows there are plenty of sharks swimming at top of her division. Waterson recently appeared on the "What the Heck" podcast with Mike Heck. She said:
"I tell people all the time the strawweight division's the most stacked division of the female roster in the UFC. The girls just show up to fight. Not only are they full of heart, and will, and determination but technically sound fighters with amazing resumes even outside the top 10. I'm constantly reminding people of that. And the girls are too. Anytime they slated to fight, they show up to fight. And I did pull a lot of inspiration from Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Weili Zhang being in that for five rounds and having that back and forth. I wanted to show people that I'm right here with them".
Michelle Waterson did manage to win gold in Invicta as an Atomweight. She defeated former fellow UFC fighter Jessica Penne to achieve that feat. Presently, Waterson is on a streak of seven fights ending in a decision. She's 4-3 in that stretch. However, many feel that she should have lost her last fight to Angela Hill via split decision. Waterson's last finish came all the way back in 2015 at The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale.
A black belt in karate and a brown in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Waterson likes fighting at distance despite having half of her 18 wins coming by submission.
However, Michelle Waterson would prefer not to fight someone like MacKenzie Dern.
Michelle Waterson said:
"It doesn't make sense to me. I think I'm at a different spot in terms of how close I am to the belt versus where she's at. And that's no jab at her, she's been doing amazing, she's an amazing jiu-jitsu player and has been able to utilize her skills to get her where she is now. But I do think I'm in a different spot than she is".
Waterson knows everyone below her, looks at her as the stepping stone. But the Karate Hottie still feels she is no gatekeeper for the strawweight. While she doesn't have any fights booked right now, she would like to get back in there once more before 2021. Waterson is staying ready for that opportunity if it comes.
Michelle Waterson has had issues facing fighters ranked above her though. The game used by them against her has been, come forward with pressure and you can beat Michelle Waterson. She's lost to Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Carla Esparza by the decision and was submitted by Rose Namajunas in her third UFC fight.
Should Tatiana Suarez not be ready to get back into the octagon against "The Cookie Monster", Dana White may decide the time is right to run back Michelle versus Esparza. Especially, since the UFC 249 loss could have easily gone the other way as well.Published 13 Oct 2020, 06:34 IST