One MMA fighter I haven’t paid much attention to is Michelle Waterson, “the Karate Hottie”, who fights “Thug” Rose Namajunas in UFC211 tonight. The winner of which will presumably challenge the formidable Joanna Jędrzejczyk, who I have written about before, for the Women’s Strawweight title.
In her last outing with the UFC Michelle made short work of the UFC’s golden girl, Page VanZant, winning by rear naked choke in the first round:
What’s interesting about Michelle is that she comes from a traditional Karate background, although to look at her fight these days she looks more like a Muay Thai/Jiujitsu fighter, but in the Page fight she made frequent use of the sidekick, a staple from Karate.
In the following video she talks about the problems of adapting traditional Karate kicking techniques to the MMA world. It’s interesting on a technical level and very refreshing in its honesty about what happens when ideas meet reality:
In the brash, trash-talking, world of MMA Waterson, with her traditional ideas of martial arts respect and humility, seems like a breath of fresh air. She’s down-to-earth, possessing a natural charm.
Her journey from Karate fighter, to MMA fighter, to world Champion with Invicita then moving to the UFC, having a daughter and her supportive husband, who gave up his boxing career for her are all documented in the brilliant film Fight Mom, which you can watch in full here:
Win or lose tonight, Michelle has had a hell of a ride to get to where she is today, and I look forward to every chance I get to see what she can do in the UFC.