A big win in the main event of UFC Vegas 10 has put Michelle Waterson back on track to become the first mom-champ.
The ‘Karate Hottie’ took a split decision over Angela Hill on Saturday night after using kicks and takedowns to convince the judges that she had won the bout. She showed great tenacity overcoming the loss of the first round, with a small cut and a huge bubble on her forehead.
Hill used her superior punching power and speed to her advantage early on, but Waterson began using push kicks instead of jabs to overcome the reach deficiencies and ended up taking over. She began using her speed to throw a big punch and then shoot in with takedown attempts and then used her grappling to keep Hill quiet.
After the win, she declared that she wanted ‘the fastest route to the title’ in her post-fight interview with Michael Bisping. What is her route there?
The closest she had been prior to this was a three-fight win streak. Her reward was bout with Joanna Jedrzejczyk in which she was totally dominated for five rounds. Her next fight was a split decision defeat to Carla Esparza. Whenever she gets close to the top of the mountain, she’s beaten. In a way, she’s very similar to ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in that she can’t quite get the job done on the biggest stage.
Dana White confirmed that the UFC are looking to make Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas for the next title fight in the division, meaning Waterson will have to compete against the likes of Jedrzejczyk, Esparza, Andrade, Gadelha and Suarez before a title fight becomes a possibility. In my eyes, she would be the underdog in every one of those match-ups.
There are a lot of women ahead of her in the rankings at the moment and she’s at a bare minimum two wins away from getting a title shot but I doubt her chances. The calibre of opposition ahead of her is too advanced in my opinion and with their skillsets so much deeper, unfortunately I don’t think she achieves that goal of becoming mom-champ in the strawweight division.