Waterson looking forward to a hot mess of a fight

Friday, September 11, 2020

Michelle Waterson has her tenth league fight, in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 35 on Saturday. She debuted with two wins, then lost two, then won three, and has now lost two, most recently dropping a split decision to Carla Esparza at UFC 249 in May.

At Thursday's virtual media day, "The Karate Hottie" talked about her past, and immediate future - fighting Angela Hill.

“I kind of left with a bit of a salty taste in my mouth after my last fight, so just falling in love with the training, falling in love with learning and growing and getting better and the grit and the grind of it all has been refreshing,” said Waterson. “So to be bumped up to main event just adds to that refreshment, and it’s exciting. I’m excited to go five rounds with a game opponent like Angela.”

Everyone learns more from the losses, and Waterson believes her ability to hear the commentators and Esparza's corner in the audience free event was a negative.

“I do think that hearing her coaches and hearing commentators played a part into me not pushing in the last fight,” said Waterson. “I thought that I was winning. I could hear the desperation in her corner. I could hear the commentators say, ‘Carla needs to do something.’ So I didn’t feel the need to push, especially against an opponent like Carla who is really good at strategically taking the round

“Having it that intimate and being able to listen to, like, the conversations can sometimes be a negative, so we focused a lot in this camp on just being able to focus on my corner and trusting in myself and going in there and taking the fight, not leaving it up to the judges.”

“My end game is to fight for the championship belt, and that’s a five-round fight, so we always train for five-round fights, and we’re ready for it."

“The gameplan is to win the fight, regardless of where it goes. But also, I’m really eager to get in there and put some damage on. I think I’ve gotten away from that just under the pressure of trying to climb the ladder and just trying to win, and forgetting about what the objective of fighting is. The purpose of it is to put the most damage on the other person. I’m excited to get in there and put some damage on her.”

“The ultimate goal is getting my hand raised. As far as proving something here or there, I think that I’ve been fighting for so long, and it’s funny because you can kind of get caught in this routine of fighting, and for me, it’s kind of weird how it comes full circle where it’s really exciting to just get in there and fight.

“I don’t care for it to be technical. I don’t care for it to be pretty. It probably will turn into a mess, but that’s what fights are sometimes, and so I’m looking forward to it being a hot mess.”

h/t John Morgan for MMA Junkie