Michelle "Karate Hottie" Waterson is the current #9 ranked UFC Women's Strawweight fighter with a professional MMA record of 18-wins and 9-losses. Waterson is a former Invicta Atomweight Champion and holds a black belt in American Freestyle Karate and a Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Waterson started her combat sports journey at age 10 when she started training in Karate. She earned a black belt in Karate and subsequently started immersing herself in other martial arts like Wushu, Muay Thai, BJJ, and wrestling.
Michelle Waterson started competing in professional MMA in 2007 and made her debut at Ring of Fire 28 against Andrea Miller. She secured a unanimous decision victory but failed to build on this victory as she went 1-2 in her next 3-fights. Waterson found momentum after she defeated Thricia Poovey at KOTC: Badlands via TKO. Waterson fought won her next 3-fights before getting TKO'ed by Elena Reid at Apache Gold: Extreme Breakdown.
Michelle rallied back from the loss and won her next 3-fights, finishing her opponents inside the first round. Due to her record, she signed with Invicta FC in 2012.
Michelle Waterson Invicta
Michelle made her Invicta debut at Invicta FC 3 against Lacy Schuckman in a back-and-forth 3-round battle that ended with Waterson winning via split decision and earning the fight of the night bonus.
Waterson challenged Jessica Penne for the Invicta FC Atomweight Championship in her next fight at Invicta 5. Waterson won the fight in the fourth round via a submission armbar to capture the title. Michelle successfully defended her title against Yasuko Tamada at Invicta 8 via third-round TKO. She lost the title in her next bout as Herica Tiburico submitted her in the third round.
Waterson left the promotion in 2015 to sign with the UFC.
Michelle Waterson UFC
Michelle transitioned to strawweight in the UFC and debuted at the Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale against Angela Magana. Michelle won the fight via third-round rear-naked choke submission. She followed this up by finishing Paige VanZant in the first via technical submission at UFC on Fox: VanZant vs. Waterson to earn a Performance of the Night bonus.
Waterson lost her next 2-fights against Rose Namajunas and Tecia and Torres before gaining her momentum back and amassing a 3-fight win streak defeating Cortney Casey, Felice Herrig, and Karolina Kowalkiewicz via decision.
Waterson fought Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC Fight Night: Joanna vs. Waterson and lost via unanimous decision and proceeded to lose a close split decision to Carla Esparza at UFC 249.
Michelle got her momentum back by defeating Angela in a fight of the night bout via split decision. Waterson failed to maintain the momentum as she lost a one-sided fight against Marina Rodriguez via unanimous decision.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Michelle Waterson
Former UFC women's strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk bloodied and battered Waterson in a swashbuckling main event encounter at UFC Fight Night 161 inside Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. After five grueling rounds, Joanna picked up the victory via unanimous decision.
Michelle Waterson Career Stats
Michelle Waterson's current record stands at 18-9. She is on a 1-fight losing streak in the UFC.
Wins by KO/TKO:
Wins by Decision:
Wins by Submission:
115 lb / 52 kg
62 in (157 cm)
Michelle Waterson Record
Below is the professional MMA record of Michelle Waterson: