Few UFC fighters have faced the competition that Michelle Waterson has in her lengthy UFC career that has spanned 11 fights.
Waterson has gone up against championship level fighters dating back to her UFC debut in 2016, including Rose Namajunas, Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Carla Esparza. Now, she prepares to knock off a Strawweight contender in Amanda Lemos on July 16th to make one last run at the championship belt that has alluded her.
Waterson spoke with BetSided this week to discuss her preparation for this fight, her training for a dangerous striker like Lemos and her favorite fights over her 27 fight career.
"I know how to deal with her [Lemos] strengths," Waterson said when discussing her training camp against her opponent, who has won nine of her 11 fights by finish. "When I fought [Marina] Rodriguez, she had just come off a knocking out one of her opponents," but Waterson was able to grind the fight to a decision, albeit a loss.
The 'Karate Hottie' has been to eight straight decisions and can challenge Lemos in a lengthy bout. Lemos has only been to the scorecards twice in her 13 fight career.
Waterson, who hydrates with BODYARMOR – and swears by the premium sports drink as her go-to option to replenish and fuel her body between workouts –is the betting underdog for this co-main matchup next weekend, and she keeps an eye on the lines, but never bets on herself, being in the octagon is enough of a wager on herself to get the victory.
"I bet on myself when I walk in there," Waterson told BetSided. "Sometimes the numbers don't show everything...Since I've been in the UFC I have been fighting top 10 killers, those stats get lost [when people bet on my fights]."
That's true for the 36-year-old fighter, who has one of the most impressive resumés of fighters you will see in WMMA. When looking back on her career, she noted that her submission victory against Paige VanZant was her favorite.
"I loved fighting Paige. It was my first main event and we were going five rounds," Waterson said, who had hand injuries ahead of the fight. "Coming out on top and win the way I did [by first round submission] that was an amazing feeling. Everything fell into place."
How does she want to win next weekend? She wants to do something she hasn't done in the UFC.
"There's a lot of things I've been able to do in my UFC career, I've had fight of the nights, submissions of the night, fought on the main card, I want a knockout!" Waterson told BetSided. "I have an opponent in front of me that likes to stand and bang, so let's go!"
You can find all of Reed's plays on Betstamp HERE!