Michelle Waterson

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Michelle Waterson
Born Michelle E. Waterson
(1986-01-06) January 6, 1986 (age 29)
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Other names The Karate Hottie
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Weight 105 lb (48 kg; 7.5 st)
Division Atomweight
Style Karate, Wushu, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Fighting out of Albuquerque, New Mexico
Team Jackson's Mixed Martial Arts
Rank      black belt in Karate
Mixed martial arts record
Total 16
Wins 12
By knockout 3
By submission 7
By decision 2
Losses 4
By knockout 1
By submission 2
By decision 1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Michelle E. Waterson (born January 6, 1986) is an American mixed martial artist and model whose nickname is "The Karate Hottie".[1] She is the former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion.

Waterson is currently the #6-ranked pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world by MMARising.com[2] and the #1-ranked Atomweight (105 lbs) according to the Unified Women's MMA Rankings[3] and Fight Matrix.[4]

Early life[edit]

Born in Colorado Springs and raised in Aurora, Waterson is of Thai descent. She began her modeling career in 2004 after she graduated from Aurora Central High School.[5]

Early martial arts career[edit]

A karate student since the age of 10, Waterson holds a Black Belt in American Free Style Karate and has also trained in WuShu, Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Boxing and wrestling.[6]

Waterson rose to fame as a contestant on the Muay Thai-themed Fight Girls reality show on the Oxygen television network.[1] She was also featured as one of the fighters in the MTV/MTV2 reality show Bully Beatdown.[7]

Professional mixed martial arts career[edit]

Waterson made her MMA debut on February 16, 2007 at Ring of Fire 28: Evolution against Andrea Miller and won the fight by unanimous decision.[8]

She faced Freestyle Cage Fighting champion Lynn Alvarez at Ring of Fire 31: Undisputed on December 1, 2007, but lost by submission in the first round.[8]

Waterson made her Strikeforce debut against Tyra Parker at Strikeforce: Payback on October 3, 2008.[1] She won the fight by rear naked choke submission in the first round.[9]

Waterson faced Karina Taylor at Duke City MMA Series 1 on March 1, 2009.[10] She won the fight by armbar submission in the first round. There was some controversy with this fight because Taylor did not tap out to the armbar.[11]

On April 11, 2009, Waterson fought former WIBA and IFBA Flyweight Boxing Champion Elena Reid at Apache Gold: Extreme Beatdown.[12] Reid won the fight by TKO in the second round.[13]

Waterson faced the debuting Rosary Califano at EB - Beatdown at 4 Bears 6 and won by submission due to a flying armbar in just 15 seconds.[14]

She faced Masako Yoshida at Crowbar MMA: Spring Brawl on April 24, 2010.[15] Waterson won the fight by TKO in the first round.[16]

Waterson returned to MMA on January 21, 2012. She faced Diana Rael at Jackson's MMA Series 7[17] and won the fight by rear-naked choke in the first round.[18]

Invicta Fighting Championships[edit]

Waterson faced Lacey Schuckman at Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama on October 6, 2012.[19] After three back and forth rounds, Waterson defeated Schuckman via split decision.[20] The bout was named Fight of the Night.[21]

Waterson challenged for the Invicta FC Atomweight Championship when she faced Jessica Penne in the main event of Invicta FC 5: Penne vs. Waterson on April 5, 2013.[22][23][24] Waterson won the fight via armbar submission in the fourth round to become the Invicta FC Atomweight Champion.[25][26] On September 6, 2014, Waterson successfully defended her championship against Yasuko Tamada in the main event of Invicta FC 8 via TKO in the third round.[27]

Waterson next headlined Invicta FC 10 on Friday, Dec. 5 in Houston against Brazilian Herica Tiburcio.[28] She lost the fight via a guillotine choke submission in the third round.[29]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

  • Invicta FC
  • Women's MMA Awards
  • AwakeningFighters.com WMMA Awards
    • 2013 Atomweight of the Year[30]
    • 2014 Atomweight of the Year[31]
  • HOV-MMA.com
    • 2014 Most Vulgar Display of Power Award (Beatdown of the Year) vs. Yasuko Tamada[32]

Personal life[edit]

On September 16, 2010, Waterson announced that she was pregnant with her first child and recently engaged.[33] She gave birth to a daughter named Araya on March 18, 2011.[34]

Media appearances[edit]

In 2008, Knockouts released a calendar featuring her.[35]

She is featured in the music video for Head Crusher, the first single from the Endgame album by the American Metal band Megadeth.[36]

On June 24, 2014 she appeared on American Ninja Warrior but failed to qualify when she fell on the first obstacle.

She was also featured on "Bully Beatdown".

Kickboxing record[edit]

Kickboxing record

Legend:       Win       Loss       Draw/No contest       Notes

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 12–4 Herica Tiburcio Submission (guillotine choke) Invicta FC 10: Waterson vs. Tiburcio December 5, 2014 3 1:06 Houston, Texas, United States Lost the Invicta FC Atomweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 12–3 Yasuko Tamada TKO (knee & punches) Invicta FC 8: Waterson vs. Tamada September 6, 2014 3 4:58 Kansas City, Missouri, United States Defended the Invicta FC Atomweight Championship.
Win 11–3 Jessica Penne Submission (armbar) Invicta FC 5: Penne vs. Waterson April 5, 2013 4 2:31 Kansas City, Missouri, United States Won Invicta FC Atomweight Championship.
Win 10–3 Lacey Schuckman Decision (split) Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama October 6, 2012 3 5:00 Kansas City, Kansas, United States Fight of the Night.[21]
Win 9–3 Diana Rael Submission (rear-naked choke) Jackson's MMA Series 7 January 21, 2012 1 2:12 Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Win 8–3 Masako Yoshida TKO (punches) Crowbar MMA: Spring Brawl April 24, 2010 1 4:17 Fargo, North Dakota, United States
Win 7–3 Rosary Califano Submission (flying armbar) EB - Beatdown at 4 Bears 6 February 13, 2010 1 0:15 New Town, North Dakota, United States
Loss 6–3 Elena Reid TKO (punches) Apache Gold: Extreme Beatdown April 11, 2009 2 1:50 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 6–2 Karina Taylor Technical Submission (armbar) Duke City MMA Series 1 March 14, 2009 1 2:36 Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Win 5–2 Tyra Parker Submission (rear-naked choke) Strikeforce: Payback October 3, 2008 1 1:20 Denver, Colorado, United States
Win 4–2 Krystal Macatol Submission (armbar) SCA: Bike n Brawl 2 August 23, 2008 1 0:22 Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Win 3–2 Thricia Poovey TKO (corner stoppage) King of the Cage: Badlands July 12, 2008 2 5:00 Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Loss 2–2 Lynn Alvarez Submission (guillotine choke) Ring of Fire 31: Undisputed December 1, 2007 1 1:19 Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Win 2–1 Jaime Cook Submission (armbar) Ring of Fire 30: Domination September 15, 2007 1 1:33 Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Loss 1–1 Alicia Gumm Decision (unanimous) RMBB: Battle of the Arts June 30, 2007 2 5:00 Denver, Colorado, United States
Win 1–0 Andrea Miller Decision (unanimous) Ring of Fire 28: Evolution February 16, 2007 3 3:00 Broomfield, Colorado, United States

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "'Karate Hottie' Michelle Waterson readies for Strikeforce debut". MMAMania.com. 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  2. ^ "Women's MMA Pound-For-Pound Rankings". MMARising.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  3. ^ "Unified Women's Mixed Martial Arts Rankings". MMARising.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  4. ^ "Current MMA Rankings - Women". FightMatrix.com. 2013-04-07. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  5. ^ "Michelle Waterson On The Cover of DSport Magazine". MMAFightGirls.com. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  6. ^ "Exclusive Interview With Michelle Waterson". MMARising.com. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  7. ^ "Michelle "The Karate Hottie" Waterson". MTV.com. 
  8. ^ a b ""KARATE HOTTIE" RETURNS TO RING OF FIRE". ROFMMA.com. 2007-11-28. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  9. ^ ""Strikeforce: Payback" live updates and official results". MMAjunkie.com. 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  10. ^ "Duke City MMA Series 1". Sherdog.com. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  11. ^ ""Series 1" shows serious strengths First official Saenz-Jackson’s card a hit in the Duke City; Barreras beats down Barlow in main go". NewMexicoCage.com. 2009-03-15. Retrieved 2010-02-10. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Elena "Baby Doll" Reid takes on Michelle Waterson at ‘Extreme Beatdown’ on April 11". ProMMANow.com. 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  13. ^ "Tuchscherer, "Baby Doll" Reid and Forbes win at Extreme Beatdown". MMAjunkie.com. 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  14. ^ "Michelle Waterson Wins At Extreme Beatdown 6". MMARising.com. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  15. ^ "Waterson Set To Face Yoshida At "Spring Brawl"". MMARising.com. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  16. ^ "Waterson Wins Impressively At "Spring Brawl"". MMARising.com. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  17. ^ "Michelle Waterson Returns To Face Diana Rael In January". MMARising.com. 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  18. ^ "Michelle Waterson Submits Diana Rael In Jackson’s Headliner". MMARising.com. 2012-01-21. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  19. ^ "Michelle Waterson vs Lacey Schuckman Agreed For Invicta FC 3". MMARising.com. 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  20. ^ "Invicta FC 3 Results: Jessica Penne Captures Atomweight Title". MMARising.com. 2012-10-06. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  21. ^ a b "Five Fighters Earn Bonuses At Invicta Fighting Championships 3". MMARising.com. 2012-10-07. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  22. ^ "Invicta FC 5 Targeted For April 13 In Cali, Champ Penne Meets Karate Hottie". MMAjunkie.com. 2013-01-10. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  23. ^ "Jessica Penne vs Michelle Waterson Announced For Invicta FC 5". MMARising.com. 2013-01-10. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  25. ^ "'Cyborg' Savages Muxlow, 'Karate Hottie' Crowned Via Dramatic Submission at Invicta FC 5". Sherdog.com. 2013-04-05. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  26. ^ "Invicta FC 5 Results: Michelle Waterson, Barb Honchak Win Titles". MMARising.com. 2013-04-06. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  27. ^ "Invicta FC 8 Results: Waterson Batters Tamada, Kankaanpaa Submits Eggink". CombatPress.com. 2014-09-06. Retrieved 2014-09-09. 
  28. ^ "Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino Injured, Michelle Waterson vs. Herica Tiburcio Now Headlines Invicta FC 10". CombatPress.com. 11-1-2014. Retrieved 11-1-2014.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  29. ^ "Invicta FC 10 Results: Herica Tiburcio Stuns Michelle Waterson; Wins Title". fansided.com. 2014-12-05. 
  30. ^ http://www.awakeningfighters.com/wmma-2013-awards/
  31. ^ http://www.awakeningfighters.com/awakening-wmma-awards-2014/
  32. ^ http://hov-mma.com/2015/01/2014-hov-mma-awards.html
  33. ^ "WATERSON TAKING A BREAK TO START HER FAMILY". MMAWeekly.com. 2010-09-16. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  34. ^ "Congratulations to Michelle Waterson". Fightergirls.com. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  35. ^ "Michelle Waterson Featured in Knockout Haircut’s 2008 Calendar". MMAFightGirls.com. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  36. ^ "Michelle Waterson Featured In Megadeth's "Head Crusher" Video". Noisecreep. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jessica Penne
2nd Invicta FC Atomweight Champion
April 5, 2013 - December 5, 2014
Succeeded by
Herica Tiburcio