TUF 21 Finale: 3 Fights for Michelle Waterson

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2015

LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 07:  Mixed martial artist and model Michelle Waterson arrives at the sixth annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards at The Palazzo Las Vegas on February 7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Sunday night, a rare UFC event took place, as The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale came live from Las Vegas. It was an event that came on the heels of UFC 189, a card that many consider the best UFC event of all time.

Though the main event soaked up most of the spotlight and the finals bout of TUF took center stage, the card did feature an exciting debut in the form of former Invicta Atomweight Champion Michelle Waterson.

The marketable Waterson faced Angela Magana in a fight that was to showcase a future contender at 115 pounds. In three rounds of action, Waterson dominated Magana, eventually offing her with a rear-naked choke.


#TUF21Finale recap: Michelle Waterson wins her UFC debut w/ rear-naked choke finish of Magana http://t.co/fELR5GmqMo http://t.co/VCvAi9iWzK

So, where does the Karate Hottie go from here? Let's take a look at three fights Waterson could take going forward.

Felice Herrig

Waterson is a karate practitioner. Felice Herrig is a muay thai practitioner.

Let's see who can apply her striking art better.

Waterson is exciting, and Herrig, when put in there with an opponent who will entertain her advances, can be exciting as well. This could be a Fight of the Night contender on any card.

Also, we'd see how Herrig's ground game has improved. We know Waterson's is continually getting better, so we would see a potential contrast if the fight hit the mat.

Two popular fighters against one another? Sounds like a plan, man.

Paige VanZant-Alex Chambers winner

Let's be real here. The UFC is banking on Michelle Waterson because she is an attractive female with a great personality, and she is a good fighter, which seems to be in the background.

The same can be said about Paige VanZant. That's why a bout with Waterson should happen in the future, though VanZant first needs to get by Alex Chambers.

Honestly, either woman would be a great next match for Waterson. Chambers is a former atomweight like Waterson, while VanZant has a similar style to the new UFC employee.

UFC 191 will settle VanZant-Chambers. Waterson should keep a close eye on that event.

Jessica Penne

Waterson and Jessica Penne have fought once, and it was for the Invicta Atomweight Championship. In that bout, Waterson submitted Penne to take the title from her.

A rematch should be on the horizon, based on where both women are in their careers and how exciting the first bout was.

Penne is coming off a failed title bid against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Waterson is one fight removed from losing her Invicta title to Herica Tiburcio.

Just based on excitement and potential animosity, this bout needs to be considered. Both women are without opponents right now and could benefit one another.


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