After loss at UFC Vegas 26, what’s next for Michelle Waterson?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 26, two top ten strawweights went head-to-head as Michelle Waterson (18-9) took on Marina Rodriguez (14-1-2). The main event came together on short-notice, but both of these strawweights brought it.

For The Karate Hottie, this was her second straight short-notice main event. Back in September, Waterson was set to take on Angela Hill. After the original main event fell through, the UFC moved Waterson and Hill up to the main event.

Despite not training for it, both ladies went five hard rounds. Waterson walked away with a split decision victory. Two weeks ago, this fight wasn’t even on the card for UFC Vegas 26.

However, after TJ Dillashaw fell out of the main event, the promotion approached Waterson and Rodriguez about headlining. Due to the short-notice nature, the two agreed to meet at flyweight to avoid a drastic weight cut.

It was a back-and-forth affair at UFC Vegas 26. However, Marina Rodriguez was clearly getting the better of the exchanges. While it was competitive, Rodriguez walked away with decision victory on all three judges scorecards.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 26?

While it was short-notice, UFC Vegas 26 was a very big opportunity for The Karate Hottie. Had Waterson won on Saturday night, she would’ve had two consecutive wins and she would’ve been in line to fight someone in the top five.

However, she didn’t get the job done on Saturday. With the loss, Waterson falls to 1-3 in her last four. Granted two of the losses came to former UFC champions and one was to Rodriguez who looks like she can be a future champion.

I don’t think the loss hurts Waterson at all and she was the betting underdog heading into the fight. So what should the UFC do with The Karate Hottie next? Well, I don’t think they have to look far in the rankings.

I actually really like the potential matchup between Waterson and Claudia Gadelha (18-5). Both strawweights are just inside the top ten and they are both coming off of losses in their last fight.

I feel like both of them are in a similar position. Both need a win and whoever loses would really have to take a step back and consider what’s next. I think it’s a matchup the UFC should pursue and I’m all for it being what’s next.

UFC Vegas 26 Preview: Michelle Waterson – Marina Rodriguez

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC Vegas 26, we will see a matchup between two of the best strawweights in the world. The Karate Hottie Michelle Waterson (18-8) is taking on Marina Rodriguez (13-1-2) in a short-notice main event.

Just over a week ago, this fight wasn’t even on this card. The main event was supposed to be TJ Dillashaw – Cory Sandhagen. However, Dillashaw suffered a cut in training and that fight had to be pushed back.

The UFC got together with Waterson and Rodriguez and made this fight happen. While these are both top ten strawweights, the fight will be taking place at flyweight given the short-notice nature of the main event.

Waterson comes into this one off of a great win over Angela Hill last September. That was another fight that turned out to be a short-notice main event. After the main event fell through, Waterson and Hill agreed to move their fight to five rounds and move up the card.

That is telling here because it shows you the kind of shape Michelle Waterson is in. At UFC Vegas 26, I have no doubts that she will be able to push a pace as if she was preparing for a fight the entire time.

This is a massive opportunity for Marina Rodriguez. Rodriguez is coming off of knocking out Amanda Ribas back at UFC 257. If she’s able to knock off Waterson, she could be only a win away from a title shot at 115 pound.

UFC Vegas 26 Prediction

The UFC Vegas 26 main event is so interesting to me especially considering the short-nature aspect of it. I know that Michelle Waterson is going to be able to fight as if she was preparing for this fight, but I’m not sure how Rodriguez is going to do with it.

Not having to cut to 115 pounds should definitely help Rodriguez here as she’s the much bigger fighter. For Rodriguez, she’s going to have to keep this fight standing. While Waterson’s nickname is ‘The Karate Hottie’ she usually gets wins by using her wrestling and grappling.

When she’s forced to stand and trade with strikers, she’s susceptible to getting hit. Waterson is always undersized and it’s important to remember that she naturally fought at 105 pound in Invicta, but when she moved to the UFC, she had to fight at 115.

Rodriguez has the power advantage and if Waterson can’t get this down, I could even see Rodriguez getting a finish. However, I do think Waterson is going to be able to use her grappling a lot in this fight. We saw Amanda Ribas have success taking Rodriguez down and holding her there.

With the fight being short-notice, I’m actually going to lean slightly towards Waterson here. With full camps, I’d probably pick Rodriguez, but with all the circumstances on the table here, I’m going to pick the Karate Hottie to get a decision win using her wrestling.

Prediction: Michelle Waterson by Decision

UFC: Michelle Waterson – Amanda Ribas is off

A highly anticipated UFC strawweight matchup is off. MMA Fighting was first to report that the strawweight clash between Michelle Waterson (18-8) and Amanda Ribas (10-1) has been called off.

Waterson is the one who had to pull out of the matchup. Reasons have not been given as to why the fight is off. The strawweight fight was scheduled to take place on the main card of UFC 257, headlined by Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Waterson was looking to pickup her second straight win in the UFC. The Karate Hottie has been on a journey where she is attempting to become the first UFC champion that’s a mom.

She’s gotten close to a title shot a couple of times. However, she’s faltered when she had to go up against the elite of the UFC‘s strawweight division. She just picked up a big win over Angela Hill back in September. That win snapped a two-fight losing streak.

This is the second straight UFC fight that has fallen out for Amanda Ribas. Originally, Ribas was supposed to take on Carla Esparza at UFC 256, however, that fight ultimately fell through which led to the Waterson fight.

The UFC’s plan

At this time there is no word on what the UFC is planning on doing. With the event being more than a month away, the likely scenario is that the promotion will move to make another fight for Amanda Ribas.

Ribas is becoming a star in the strawweight division. Between her personality and her performances inside the octagon, she’s becoming a bright spot at strawweight. Ribas last competed at UFC 251 where she submitted Paige VanZant.

Ribas is undefeated since joining the UFC back in June of 2019. Most notably, Ribas is the only fighter to have defeated Mackenzie Dern. She won that fight by unanimous decision last October. Again, I think the promotion is going to try and keep Ribas on the card as of now.

UFC targeting Michelle Waterson – Amanda Ribas

It looks like UFC 257 is going to be getting a fun one in the women’s strawweight division. Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the promotion is close to finalizing a matchup between two top ten strawweights as Michelle Waterson (18-8) will take on Amanda Ribas (10-1).

This one should be a really fun matchup for UFC fans. The Karate Hottie is coming off of a win in her last fight against Angela Hill. The fight was razor close at UFC Vegas 10, but in the end, Waterson was able to pull out the victory by split decision.

Since 2018, Waterson has only lost twice in the UFC. Both of those fights were against former champions, and I believe that she won the fight against Carla Esparza. Waterson is continuing her journey to try to become the first “Mom Champ” in the UFC.

If she is able to pull out the victory on January 23rd, she will be one step closer to fighting for UFC gold. However, her opponent is no cake walk. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if Ribas entered the cage on January 23rd as the betting favorite.

UFC 257 gets a good one

Ribas has stormed onto the UFC over the last 16 months. She’s 4-0 so far in her career with the UFC. In her last fight, she was able to defeat Paige VanZant by first round armbar at UFC 251. However, it was her performance against Mackenzie Dern which raised eyebrows.

Dern was being touted as a top prospect in the strawweight division. However, she was not able to get past Ribas. Ribas controlled their fight and went on to capture the decision victory handing Dern the only loss of her professional career.

Whoever wins at UFC 257 will have made a big statement to the rest of the division. If one of these ladies is able to put on an incredible performance, they could be only a fight or two away from getting a shot at the title.

After UFC Vegas 10 win, what’s next for Michelle Waterson?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 10, The Karate Hottie Michelle Waterson (18-8) snapped her two fight losing streak in an absolute war with Angela Hill (12-9). Waterson struggled early, but really came on strong and won the final three rounds.

With the victory, Waterson has her eyes set on the UFC strawweight title. For the past few years, she’s talked about her desire to be the first mom champ in the UFC. She said in her post-fight interview that she wants to fight someone that gets her closer to the title.

Waterson’s next step towards UFC gold

In looking at the rankings, it’s really tough to figure out what’s next inside the UFC for Waterson. I don’t see Nina Ansaroff, Carla Esparza, or Joanna Jedrzejczyk being options for Waterson. Ansaroff is getting ready to have a baby while Waterson just lost to the other two.

That being said, I think there are two potential UFC matchups for Waterson. The promotion could throw her right into the deep end against Tatiana Suarez (8-0) when Suarez is ready to return from action. Suarez hasn’t fought in over a year due to lingering neck injuries.

If that fight were to come together and Waterson were to win, she’d likely get a title shot. I think a more realistic option would be for Waterson to fight the winner of the Claudia Gadelha – Yan Xiaonan fight that has been rescheduled for November.

Whoever wins that fight will likely be ready to make the jump into or for the top five in the UFC‘s strawweight rankings. I think a matchup between Waterson and the winner could be the best and most realistic next step in Waterson’s journey to become the UFC‘s first mom champ.

UFC: Michelle Waterson & Angela Hill to fight on August 22nd card

A big time UFC strawweight contest is being added to the August 22nd fight card. Eighth ranked, Michelle Waterson (17-8), will be taking on thirteenth ranked, Angela Hill (12-8). The August card is being headlined by a middleweight contest between Yoel Romero and Uriah Hall.

Waterson looks to get back to UFC title contention

Both of these ladies come into this fight with a lot on the line. For the “The Karate Hottie”, she’s looking to snap the first losing streak of her career. Since joining the UFC five years ago, Waterson has consistently been one of the better strawweights in the UFC. Last year, she got the closest she’s been to a title shot with her fight against former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Waterson put up a really tough fight, but the former champion was too much. Waterson recently competed at UFC 249 and was suffered her second consecutive loss to another former champion, Carla Esparza. The decision was razor close and many scored the fight for Waterson.

Hill looking to bounce back

A week after Waterson suffered a tough loss on the scorecards, Angel Hill found herself the victim of a close decision. Hill had won three consecutive fights leading up to her fight against top contender, Claudia Gadelha. After losing the first round, many believed that Hill won the final two rounds to secure the win. However, two of the three judges gave the fight to Gadelha.

Hill got off to a rocky start in the UFC, but she looked like she was finding her groove this year. She won three fights in five months leading to that Gadelha fight. She looked fresh after that fight, and she wanted to get right back in there.

This will be an intriguing matchup for the UFC‘s strawweight division. A win for either woman puts them back on the road to contention. However, a loss for either would be a big setback at this stage in their careers. It should be a very fun matchup to watch when August 22nd rolls around.