Michelle Waterson
The Karate Hottie
Taking on Karolina Kowalkiewicz
strawweightUFC
January 9, 2019
Waterson will face Karolina Kowalkiewicz in a strawweight bout at UFC Philadelphia on March 30, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Waterson is riding a two-match win streak, winning decision victories over Cortney Casey-Sanchez and Felice Herrig. Her opponent, Kowalkiewicz, has lost three of her last five bouts, most recently getting knocked out in the first round by Jessica Andrade.
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Rebounds with strong performance to decision Felice Herrig
strawweightUFC
October 6, 2018
Waterson defeated Felice Herrig via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 30-27) at UFC 229 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Credit Waterson for studying her opponent and tailoring her game plan to pickup the victory. She sold out to defend Herrig's takedown attempts and she did a terrific job of smashing Herrig with elbows in the one instance where her opponent ended up in top position. Waterson threw plenty of kicks at Herrig to keep her off balance and she deserved the victory. Waterson has struggled with bigger opponents during her time in the UFC and Saturday's performance was a nice bounce-back effort in a fight that she had to have.
Draws Felice Herrig for UFC 229
strawweightUFC
August 9, 2018
Waterson will fight Felice Herrig in a strawweight matchup at UFC 229 on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas, Damon Martin of MMAWeekly.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Waterson had been on a two-fight losing streak before her most recent bout in April, where she pulled off a split decision victory against Cortney Casey. Herrig fought Casey to the same outcome back in December of 2017, which at the time, was her fourth consecutive victory. Herrig has since dropped a split decision to a top contender in Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and will look to get back in the win column against Waterson. "The Karate Hottie" will concede height and reach advantages to Herrig, but that is the case in most of her fights, as Waterson would likely be better suited for an atomweight (105 pounds) division. The Jackson-Wink MMA product has more than proven she belongs, however, as Waterson has shared the Octagon with champion Rose Namajunas and top contender Tecia Torres. Sitting at No. 7 in the UFC rankings, Waterson is one spot ahead of Herrig, with the winner likely to get a top-5 opponent their next time out.
Gets much needed win over Cortney Casey Saturday
strawweightUFC
April 14, 2018
Waterson defeated Cortney Casey via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) at UFC on FOX 29 on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona.
ANALYSIS
In the midst of two-fight losing streak, Waterson got the benefit of the judge's call in a fight that she had to have. Waterson struggled with the physicality of Casey, but she leaned on the takedown and her ability to control Casey on the mat to preserve the win. Waterson also displayed excellent submission defense throughout the contest. Giving up a bunch of size in virtually every fight she competes in, it seems unlikely that Waterson will ever reach the top of the mountain in the UFC women's strawweight division. The Karate Hottie is a natural atomweight and the UFC doesn't have a 105 pound division.
To battle Cortney Casey at UFC on FOX 29
strawweightUFC
February 8, 2018
Waterson will take on Cortney Casey in a strawweight fight at UFC on FOX 29 on Apr. 14 in Glendale, Arizona, Shaheen Al-Shatti of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Waterson will look to kick off her 2018 campaign in winning fashion after being defeated in both of her 2017 bouts, most recently losing via unanimous decision to Tecia Torres at UFC 218 in early December.
Can't handle striking of Tecia Torres in UFC 218 loss
strawweightUFC
December 2, 2017
Waterson lost to Tecia Torres via unanimous decision (27-30, 28-29, 28-29) at UFC 218 on Saturday in Detroit.
ANALYSIS
This fight essentially played out as expected. Waterson had a significant advantage on the mat while Torres was the far more efficient striker. The issue for Waterson is that the majority of the contest took place in Tecia's comfort zone. While Waterson managed to score a takedown in each of the first two rounds, she did very little with her positional advantage. Waterson also looked exhausted by the end of the fight. Simply put, it was a fight that Michelle couldn't afford to lose and she came up short. Waterson is a smart and marketable fighter, but she is quickly finding out that the competition in the UFC is slightly tougher than Invicta. Back-to-back losses have Waterson miles from the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship picture.