Michelle Waterson is no stranger to the realities of selling women’s fights. If she didn’t think her looks would be of service in that department, she might not have chosen “The Karate Hottie” as her nickname. But, she told Bleacher Report, “it is what it is.”
That said, Waterson (8-3) doesn’t think Ronda Rousey’s looks should help her usurp Sarah Kaufman’s No. 1 contender status in the Strikeforce 135 pound women’s division. Waterson, who like Rousey has found success with the armbar (including four first-round armbar finishes), suggested the vocal Judo ace might want to chill out and wait her turn to fight for the belt.
“We’re not going anywhere. She can wait a couple of months to fight. If she’s that good, I don’t think a couple of months is going to hurt her,” Waterson said.
Waterson only offered those comments after I filled her in on the beef in question. When I first brought it up, she had no idea what I was talking about.
It might come as a surprise that the Karate Hottie wasn’t up on her colleagues’ drama. But then, with an 8-month-old daughter, her priorities have shifted since her last fight 18 months ago. Now that she’s training for her first post-partum scrap, Waterson has even less time to watch the cats fight.
She’s preparing for a fight with Diana “Dianamite” Rael, which will go down January 21 at the Hard Rock Café in Albuquerque, as the main event of the Jackson’s MMA Series VII card.
Training for a professional cage fight is a daunting task, even for those of us who aren’t taking care of an infant daughter. On top of those responsibilities, as Waterson explained, a bout of gestational diabetes during pregnancy ballooned her into a welterweight. And after Araya was born, the pounds didn’t come off like they used to.
“It was really hard. I was working out and training and nursing, and it was really hard. I was tired, and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me because my body just wasn’t letting go of the weight.”
Finally, her doctor discovered a thyroid problem.
“Once they medicated me for my thyroid, everything regulated, and I’m back to my normal weight. I’m at 120 right now, I’m fighting at 105. I feel good, I feel strong, I feel like this weight cut’s gonna be good.”
So guys, next time you take an inside leg kick to the cup remember: you'll never get gestational diabetes. You have it a lot less complicated than your sisters in arms.
But Waterson, for one, isn’t complaining. She loves her daughter, loves her job, and seems to really like her opponent, too. That said, she can’t wait to punch her in the mouth.
“Diana Rael is a wonderful person," Waterson said. "But at the end of the day me and her know why we’re getting into the ring: to beat the crap out of each other. And, it is what it is.”