There was a time when women fighting inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon was nothing more than a dream (thanks to this) to many female combatants hoping to one day get a chance to shine on MMA’s biggest stage.
Fast forward to 2019, and women have become an integral part in UFC’s growth thanks in large part to Ronda Rousey’s impact on the sport. Now that “Rowdy’s” turned to a career in WWE, women’s MMA is still going strong thanks to several champions and stars who have made a name for themselves inside the Octagon.
Among them is Michelle Waterson, who made her UFC debut back in 2015. Prior to that, though, “Karate Hottie” was already on people’s radars thanks to her time as Invicta FC’s Atomweight champion. A title she won just two years after giving birth to her only daughter Araya.
This Sunday (March 24, 2019), ESPN’s “E:60” program will spotlight Waterson’s progression in MMA as not only one of the best fighters in the game, but as a full-time mother. The piece will give an inside and detailed look at “Karate Hottie’s” determination to balance motherhood with such a demanding profession.
From the official summary:
Eight years ago, Michelle Waterson was still in the early stages of her professional MMA career when UFC president Dana White famously declared that no women would ever fight for the UFC. Around that same time, she learned that she was going to have a baby. But instead of ending her career, baby Araya gave Waterson the one thing she didn’t realize she was missing: a reason to fight. Today, Waterson, known as the Karate Hottie, is the UFC’s ninth-ranked strawweight, and she’s among six fighters who are mothers to crack the top ten. She sat down with E:60’s Tisha Thompson to talk about how she balances motherhood and her professional fighting career and why she has decided to allow her now eight-year-old daughter to watch every one of her fights, no matter how gruesome they can be.
“Cage Mom” will air at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN, and then at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
Since making her Octagon debut, Waterson has gone 4-2 under the UFC umbrella, picking up wins over the likes of Paige VanZant and more recently defeated Felice Herrig in the opening main card bout of the blockbuster UFC 229: Khabib vs McGregor” event last October.
Michelle will look to move further up the rankings and make a case for a shot at the strawweight title as she attempts to win her third in a row when she faces off against Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC on ESPN 2 on March 30, 2019 on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.