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Michelle Waterson: UFC champion Holly Holm a great role model for me

It's never easy sitting on the sidelines in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). Injuries have taken a toll on plenty of fighters and their careers, including No. 10-ranked UFC women's strawweight Michelle Waterson.

"The Karate Hottie" is a former Invicta FC atomweight champion, but she's yet to fully make an impact in UFC's 115-pound division. A knee injury, as well as a broken hand, have slowed her emergence on the scene after she secured a rear-naked choke victory over Angela Magana in her promotional debut last July.

However, if there is any silver lining, it's that she calls one of the most prestigious gyms in all of MMA, the Jackson-Wink Academy, her home in Albuquerque, N.M., which just so happens to house her best friend and current women's bantamweight queen bee Holly Holm.

Waterson talks of her relationship with Holm and the coaching she receives with MMA Noise:

"Holly is one of my best friends and we train together out in Albuquerque. Holly has been such a great role model for me. It just puts things into perspective the things that coach Jackson and Wink have done in their lives and still they're just very simple people."

Holm, a former professional boxer, similarly saw her arrival in UFC halted by a neck injury and then had to deal with all the naysayers, who believed she just didn't have the chops to take out then-champion Ronda Rousey.

Boy, were they wrong.

Now, "Preacher's Daughter" is set to defend her 135-pound strap for the first time against two-time title challenger Miesha Tate in the UFC 196 co-main event on March 5, 2016. As for Waterson, well, she left no timetable for her Octagon return.

Sad face.

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