Known as “The Karate Hottie” for her blend of beauty and fight skills, Waterson is a former Invicta FC atomweight champion and is currently competing in the UFC’s strawweight division (115 pounds).
Waterson, who is of Thai descent, hails from Aurora, Colorado, where she began studying martial arts at age 10. In 2004, she took up modeling, and first rose to fame in the MMA world by appearing on the Oxygen network’s Fight Girls reality TV show. She later appeared on the MTV/MTV2 reality show Bully Beatdown, and in the music video for Megadeth’s 2009 track “Head Crusher.”
Waterson competed in several MMA promotions, including Ring of Fire and Strikeforce, and made her Invicta FC debut in 2012. The following year, she challenged Jessica Penne for the atomweight title. The larger Penne controlled the fight early, punishing Waterson with strikes and submission attempts, and finally catching the challenger in what looked like an airtight armbar at the end of the third round. Incredibly, Waterson rolled out of the lock, survived the round, and answered with her own armbar in round four to win the title. “You just can’t quit,” she said in her post-fight interview. “Even when you feel like you can’t go on.”
At Invicta FC 10, Waterson lost the title, but she resurfaced in the UFC and has since pulled off wins against Angela Magana and Paige Van Zant—both by rear naked choke—with the latter victory earning her a Performance of the Night bonus.
Former Invicta FC atomweight champion
Two-time winner of the Fight of the Year award at the Women’s MMA awards
Daughter, Araya, born 2011
Michelle Waterson: Fear Does Not Crown Champions
Onnit Podcast #23 with Whitney Miller and Michelle Waterson
I use so many of the Onnit supplements and foods and am thankful I had them to support me in my training leading up to my championship fight.
– Michelle Waterson
Michelle Waterson Recommends
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