Michelle Waterson is a martial artist from Colorada, USA who is currently number 7 in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) strawweight division of women and number 23 strawweight fighter in the world of Fight Matrix.
Between 2013-2014, the former atomic weight champion of Invicta FC was the number 1 atomic weight fighter in the world.
Waterson was born on January 6, 1986, as Michelle E. Waterson in Colorado Springs. She grew up in Aurora and is of Thai descent.
She attended Aurora Central High School, which she graduated from in 2004. After graduating she modeled for a while before she settled down for a career as a mixed martial artist.
Michelle’s love of art did not begin after high school, but when she was much younger. She has been engaged in karate since she was ten years old and has a black belt in American Free Style Karate. She is also trained in boxing, wrestling, WuShu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Muay Thai.
She gained fame when she appeared on the reality show “Fight Girls” with a Muay Thai theme, which was broadcast on the Oxygen TV channel in 2006/2007. Her appearance as one of the fighters in the MTV/MTV2 reality show “Bully Beatdown” made her even more famous.
With the help of Donald Cerrone, Michelle Waterson made the transition from ring girl to fighter. She made her MMA debut in January 2007 at the Ring of Fire 28, without amateur fights.
In December of the same year, she met Lynn Alvarez, the champion in Freestyle Cage Fighting, at the Ring of Fire 31, without amateur fights. She lost in the first round by submission. The following year she made her Strikeforce debut against Tyra Parker and won the fight in the first round by rear-naked choke submission.
In March 2009 she faced Karina Taylor in the Duke City MMA Series and also won the first round by submission with the armbar. However, there was some kind of controversy about the fight because Taylor did not approach the fight with the armbar. The following month at Apache Gold, she faced former IFBA flyweight boxer and WIBA champion Elena Reid: Extreme defeat. Unfortunately, Reid beat her in the second round by TKO.
After the defeat against Reid, she met Rosary Califano and won in only 15 seconds by submission due to a flying armbar. In April 2010 she fought in Crowbar MMA against Yoshida: Spring Brawl and won the fight in the first round by TKO
In January 2012 she returned to the MMA and fought Diana Rael in Jackson’s MMA Series 7 and won the fight in the first round again with the choke from behind.
In October 2012 she met Lacey Schuckman in Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama and defeated her in the fourth round by split decision. In April 2013 she fought Jessica Penne for the Invicta FC Atomweight Championship, won the fourth round by submission with the armbar, 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 of the main Invicta FC 8 event.
In December of the same year, she fought at Invicta FC against Hérica Tibúrcioat from Brazil and lost in the third round by a guillotine choke submission.
In 2015 Michelle Waterson officially signed a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and made her promotion debut in July 2012 in a match against Angela Magaña in the Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale. She defeated Angela Magaña in the third round by submission.
Her next fight was to be against Tecia Torres, but she had to retire due to a knee injury and was absent for over a year due to the injury. In December 2016 she returned to fight against Paige VanZant.
Waterson won the fight in the first round by technical submission due to a rearward 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 in the UFC at Fox 29 in Glendale and lost two fights, one against Rose Namajunas and the other against Tecia Torres.
Michelle Waterson’s Husband Joshua Gomez
Karate Hottie, as she was called, is married to the former amateur boxing champion of the US Armed Forces Joshua Gomez. The couple tied the knot in 2012 in a small ceremony at the Hacienda Vargas in Algodones in front of friends, family, and a number of MMA teammates.
Before their wedding, they welcomed their first child together. Their adorable daughter, Araya, was born on March 18, 2011.
Other Details About Michelle Waterson
- Waterson was introduced in the 2008 Knockout Calendar.
- She was also featured in the music video of the American metal band Megadeth entitled Head Crusher from the album Endgame.
- In 2014 she participated in the America Sports Entertainment competition American Ninja Warrior but did not qualify.
- In 2017 she participated in the MTV reality show The Challenge.