clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Michelle Waterson relieved Octagon debut is over, hopes to ride energetic UFC 194 wave to defeat 'tough' Tecia Torres

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

When a reporter asks Michelle Waterson about how she felt about getting her first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) match under her belt back in July, the 29-year-old mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran throws back her head and laughs, buzzing with excitement.

"I think it was just a sigh of relief because I've been fighting for a while and just to have it kind of come full circle and be in the UFC and to say that I'm a part of this wave that's happening with women's MMA is nice," she recently told

The soft-spoken Strawweight may be quiet during her interviews, but her actions speak loudly in the cage. Her Octagon debut was a convincing beatdown and submission victory over Angela Magana at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 21 Finale.

Waterson may have flown into UFC somewhat under the radar for many fans who learned about the best and brightest this 115-pound weight class has to offer thanks to TUF 20, which ultimately crowned Carla Esparza as the promotion's first-ever division champion.

While "The Karate Hottie" wasn't on the show, she is already well known among fans of women's MMA, having won Invicta FC's Atomweight belt back in 2012. And despite being known for her black belt in freestyle karate, the Jackson Wink MMA Academy-trained fighter owns eight submissions among her 13 professional wins, one of them via spectacular flying armbar.

Her next opponent happens to be Tecia Torres, a woman who competed on the show and suffered defeats to Esparza and Randa Markos. However, Waterson says she thinks those losses will have actually helped Torres.

"I've kind of had the opportunity to experience the reality TV, but I think each one of those girls probably took away something different from it. And I think that the pressure Tecia was under and the amount of bullying I think that was happening to her, I think it was beneficial to her because it made her tougher."

The two will face off on the monumental UFC 194 card on Dec. 12, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is headlined by the much anticipated showdown between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo. Waterson said she was in "Sin City" at UFC 189 because she was fighting the next day and could literally feel the roar of the crowd from her hotel room.

"What I heard from everybody that went to that event was all the fighters soaked up that energy and it just showed," she said. "Every single fight was a fight of the night. Like, you didn't get one boring fight and I hope to be able to ride that."

Although the pay-per-view (PPV) brackets haven't been set in stone, is currently showing that Waterson vs. Torres would kick off that blockbuster event.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania