UFC News: Coach wants the promotion to create a new division for Michelle Waterson
Michelle Waterson is one of the most popular female fighters in the UFC who has been around in the promotion since 2015. However, The Karate Hottie has never been able to land herself a title shot despite being relatively successful over the years.
Waterson recently faced Joanna Jędrzejczyk in October and a win against the former Strawweight Champion would have forced the UFC to hand her a title fight. She was, however, defeated via unanimous decision in the five-round main event.
Waterson's coach Mike Winkeljohn spoke to BJPenn.com and revealed his thoughts about her future.
While he believed that Waterson can be a legit title contender in the 115-pound division, Winkeljohn opined that a 105-pound Atomweight division suits her the best and he had no doubts that Waterson would become a UFC Champion in the proposed new weight class.
“I would love for there to be a 105-pound division for Michelle. She is small for the division, but with that being said, she is right there. It is only the top two or three girls that are doing it to her at the moment using the size."
Waterson is a former Invicta Atomweight Champion and was the #1 ranked 105-pound fighter in the world in 2013.
Winkeljohn added that Waterson was back in the gym and the plan is for her to gain some muscle before she gets back inside the Octagon in 2020.
"She is back in the gym and knows she made some mistakes. I’m thinking Joanna is going to win the world title, but we are trying to get Michelle to get some muscle and try to get that.
“I think so. There are no talks right now as everyone is sitting waiting to see what they will do. The UFC is trying to figure out what they want to do. But, Michelle is a highly marketable and a great fighter and can go against any fighter in the division. She is going to work on some skills and work on muscle.” H/t Credit: BJPenn.com
The Jackson/Wink MMA head coach also revealed that they are looking at potential fights against Jessica Andrade and Rose Namajunas for Waterson's return.
Waterson faced Namajunas back in 2017 and was defeated in the second round by submission. Winkeljohn felt that a rematch is the most sensible fight to book at the moment.
“They both have different skillsets. Andrade is so strong but Michelle’s movement is way better. Rose is incredible with her boxing but Michelle would love to get that fight back."