Michelle Waterson is a martial artist from Colorada USA who is currently ranked #7 contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s strawweight division and #23 women’s strawweight fighter in the world by Fight Matrix.
Between 2013-2014, the former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion was ranked #1 women atomweight fighter in the world.
Waterson was born in Colorado Springs on the 6th of January 1986 as Michelle E. Waterson. She was raised in Aurora and is of Thai descent.
She attended Aurora Central High School from where she graduated in 2004, after graduation, she modeled for a while before settling down for a career as a mixed martial artist.
Michelle’s love for the art didn’t begin after high school but right from when she was much younger. She has been into karate since the age of ten and holds a black belt in American Free Style Karate. She is also trained in boxing, wrestling, WuShu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai.
She rose to fame when she competed on the Muay Thai-themed Fight Girls reality show which aired on the Oxygen television network in 2006/2007, Her appearance as one of the fighters in the MTV/MTV2 reality show Bully Beatdown, further made her famous.
With the help of Donald Cerrone, Michelle Waterson made a transition from ring girl to a fighter. She made her MMA debut in January 2007, at Ring of Fire 28 and this was without any amateur fights.
In December of that same year, she faced Lynn Alvarez, Freestyle Cage Fighting champion, at Ring of Fire 31. She lost in the first round by submission. She made her Strikeforce debut the following year against Tyra Parker and won the fight in the first round by rear naked choke submission.
In March 2009, she faced Karina Taylor at Duke City MMA Series and also won in the first round by armbar submission. There was, however, some sort of controversy with the fight because Taylor did not tap out to the armbar. The following month, she faced former IFBA Flyweight Boxing and WIBA Champion Elena Reid at Apache Gold: Extreme Beatdown. Unfortunately, Reid beat her in the second round by TKO.
After losing to Reid, she faced Rosary Califano and won in just 15 seconds by submission due to a flying armbar. In April 2010, she fought Yoshida at Crowbar MMA: Spring Brawl and won the fight in the first round by TKO
In January 2012, she returned to the MMA and fought Diana Rael at Jackson’s MMA Series 7 and again won the fight in the first round by rear-naked choke.
In October 2012, at Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama, she faced Lacey Schuckman and defeated her at the fourth round by split decision. In April 2013, she challenged for the Invicta FC Atomweight Championship in a fight against Jessica Penne, she won in the fourth round by armbar submission and became the new Invicta FC Atomweight Champion. In 2014, Michelle successfully defended her championship by beating Yasuko Tamada by TKO in the third round at the main event of Invicta FC 8.
In December of the same year, she fought against Brazilian Hérica Tibúrcioat at Invicta FC and lost in the third round via a guillotine choke submission.
In 2015, Michelle Waterson officially signed with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and made her promotional debut in July 2012, in a match against Angela Magaña at The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale. She beat Angela in the third round via submission.
Her next fight was meant to be against Tecia Torres but she had to pull out due to a knee injury and was away for over a year as a result of the injury. She returned in December 2016 to fight against Paige VanZant.
Waterson won the fight in the first round via technical submission which came as a result of a rear-naked choke. This fight earned her her first Performance of the Night bonus award. Since then, Michelle Waterson has won a fight against Cortney Casey at UFC on Fox 29 in Glendale, and lost two fights; one against Rose Namajunas and the other against Tecia Torres.
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Michelle Waterson’s Husband Joshua Gomez
The Karate Hottie as she has been nicknamed is married to former U.S. Armed Forces amateur boxing champion Joshua Gomez. The couple tied the knots in 2012, in a small ceremony at Hacienda Vargas in Algodones, before friends, family and a host of MMA teammates.
Before their wedding, they welcomed their first child together. Their adorable daughter, Araya, who was born on March 18th, 2011.
Other Details About Michelle Waterson
- Waterson was featured on Knockouts 2008 calendar.
- She was also featured on American Metal band Megadeth’s music video titled Head Crusher, from the album Endgame.
- In 2014, she participated on America Sports Entertainment competition American Ninja Warrior but she didn’t qualify.
- In 2017, she competed on MTV reality show The Challenge.