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Michelle Waterson on being a fighter, a mum and a future UFC champion

Jim Edwards

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Michelle ‘Karate Hottie’ Waterson is considered by many to be one of the UFC’s hottest prospects in the 115lbs women’s strawweight division and who could argue against it given her champion pedigree and her outstanding attitude.

Waterson is currently sidelined due to an injury she sustained in December and speaking to Jim Edwards of MMA Latest News earlier this week, the former Invicta FC atomweight champion described how the injury came about:

“Injuries are a frustrating part about being an athlete and you have to learn to deal with them,” explained Waterson.

“I broke my hand in July in my fight with Angela Magana and whilst that was healing I was still training hoping to get in there as soon as I could. I got the clear to go and I got paired with Tecia Torres and that was a highly anticipated matchup but then I blew my knee so I had to pull out of that fight. After that I healed up that injury, went

She continued: “After that I healed up that injury, went back into sparring and then I blew out my hand and broke my hand again. It’s frustrating but what are you going to do?”

Despite the setbacks, Waterson is well aware that continuing to push her recovery time isn’t for the best and said that this time she would take her time before pushing herself back into training:

“I know that I just have to be patient. I’ve been so eager to get in there because I just got signed to the UFC and I wanted to show everyone my abilities but I keep pushing my body to a point where it can’t be pushed right now.

“Even though I feel good, my hand feels good and it feels a lot better, doesn’t mean it’s healed all the way. I just have to remember that I have to be patient and that I have to learn how to train differently.”

When she does return, Waterson believes that she will have the ability to compete with the best in the UFC strawweight division including the current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Waterson told me that her team at JacksonWink MMA are a big reason for that:

“I have the best coaches and training partners in the world and I believe that if our paths were to cross [with Jedrejczyk], they will put a great game plan for me to win.”

Waterson later added: “The gym is like my second home. I see these people more than I see my husband a lot of the time so they a bit like family.

“If you can’t go to the gym and be comfortable in your own skin and in your environment then you are in the wrong gym. Fighting is a very vulnerable sport so if you aren’t comfortable in your own gym then there is something wrong.”

One of Waterson’s at JacksonWink MMA is the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Holly Holm. Waterson had nothing but admiration for her fellow gym member:

“She is one of my best friends and what makes her so special is that she is so genuine in everything she does and says.

“She doesn’t talk the talk, she walks the walk. She’s never the type to say this is what you should think, this is what you should do. She leads by example and if you follow her great, if you don’t then that’s up to you.”

While Waterson has had a frustrating time of injuries of late, she did receive a huge boost when her Kickstarter project: ‘Fight Mom’ successfully raised the required $35,000 to fund a documentary that followed her as she learned to balance her life as a mother and professional MMA fighter. Waterson revealed the recipe for her success:

“I think you just have to learn that if you want to be the best you have to sacrifice time and then find time when there really isn’t.

“You have to make sure you get the time to get your training done but then equally you have to make sure you have a great support system. My husband has always believed in me and he knows that I have the potential to be a champion.

“He’s always been my backbone and my mom comes down for camps or every now and then to help me watch the little one. It’s really just a team effort.”

She then revealed the documentary was finished and being ready to be made available digitally to people who had backed the campaign.

“The documentary is actually all done and it’s in the editing process right now. It’s a beautifully made movie and they’ve captured a lot. Even when I was still fighting for Invicta, they shot me defending my title. then losing my title and then me signing to the UFC and making my debut. There are a lot of ups and downs and it’s just cool to see it from a different perspective.

Waterson then revealed her ideal plans for the rest of the year and when she would ideally like to return:

“I just have to continue to get better and I hoping for the summer. It’s a long layoff but like Dominick Cruz says ‘ring rust doesn’t exist’.”

She later added: “I would like to fight at least two times taking into consideration my injury. Hopefully, I will be on some of the bigger cards. I have no big worries I’m missing out on anything because the fights are just getting bigger and the organization is just getting bigger.”

The interview ended with me asking Michelle about her long-term goal in the sport. Her response was confident and sincere:

“I want to be the champ – I want to be the strawweight champion of the UFC. I’ve done it before in Invicta and I know I can do it again.”

Watch Michelle’s Vlogs on MMA Latest by clicking HERE

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Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Bellator

Michael Page Not Focusing on Opponent Ahead of Boxing Debut

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest spoke to Bellator’s Michael ‘Venom’ Page, as he makes his boxing debut this Friday at the Hayemaker Ringstar Fight Night.

Page (12-0 MMA) is renowned for his entertaining fight style inside the cage, with most of his knockout and submission victories ending up in highlight reels online, that almost always go viral.

‘MVP’ was supposed to make his boxing debut on the undercard of David Haye vs Tony Bellew in March of this year, but due to ongoing negotiations with Bellator, his debut was delayed. Shortly after Page signed with Haye’s promotion “Hayemaker Ringstar.”

Q: So, Michael, we’re about five days out now from your big boxing debut, and still we have no name of an opponent? Can you break the big news, who will you be fighting next week?

I honestly couldn’t even tell you his name right now! I know I’ve got an opponent, but I haven’t even looked at him because it has changed so many times. I don’t like to pay too much attention to it, because it’s added stress. For me it’s just a case of turning up, and firing punches at whoever is across the ring.

Q: Is this fight 10 or 12 rounds? Given a standard boxing fight is a lot longer than your typical 15-minute MMA bout, has there been an emphasis on cardiovascular work in your training camp?

Depending on the opponent, I think it’s 6-rounds. The preparation has been different, I’m having to stress out my shoulders and core a lot. The kicking distance as well is very different, getting used to having people a bit closer. I’m getting used to the corners of the ring, I’ve done it before but not to this extent so I am familiar of it, but my body wasn’t really used to it.

Q: So, is this kind of like a one fight deal for Haye’s Ringstar promotion? Regardless of this fight’s outcome, will you return to MMA?

Not at all, I’m taking it seriously. Otherwise, I would have just had a super fight against a big name like McGregor did. This is why I can’t just jump into a 12 round fight, I need to adjust my body and get it prepared for boxing.

There’s no future plans yet, I’d like to have an MMA fight again before the end of this year, as I haven’t fought this whole year, but another opportunity for boxing may come up and I might get a chance to jump on that, so it depends.

Q: Were you frustrated that Bellator booked Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin, and if you could send a message to Daley right now what would it be?

I have no interest in him anymore. It feels so pathetic and unnecessary now. I don’t think he deserved that fight with Larkin right after the shocking display he put on in Wembley against Rory MacDonald. But good on him he beat Larkin, however he calls me out immediately after then goes on to say he’s past that fight, it just doesn’t make sense.

Credit – michaelpagemvp – Instagram

Q: A statement we hear a lot is “MVP is the only guy outside the UFC that I want in the UFC” People criticise the talent in Bellator and say you’re fighting nobodies, what do you say back to them?

The amount of times you hear “you shouldn’t fight this person, you should have fought that person.” Everyone’s got an idea of what the correct steps someone should make are, but at the end of the day it’s their career. People are so fickle and easy to forget. If you are a fan of somebody, just be a fan of them regardless of win or loss.

Q: I’ve got to ask about how things are with Bellator, because from the outside looking in it’s quite unclear. How is it relationship at the moment?

Yeah I get on with most of the guys, it’s like a small family. I’ve still got a couple of fights left with them, they’re growing very well, the only problem is I feel like they’re focusing a bit too much on ex UFC fighters. For me it says you’re classing yourself as second best. Bellator generate some amazing superstars and young talent, they should continue to promote them.

You can watch ‘MVP’ make his boxing debut this Friday night, as the Hayemaker Ringstar Fight Night will air at 21:00PM on Dave.

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BAMMA

Exclusive: Alex Lohore “Didn’t Know” Who Richard Kiely Was Before BAMMA 32 Booking

Harry Davies

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We spoke to the recently crowned BAMMA welterweight champion Alex Lohore, as he prepares to defend his title against Richard Kiely at BAMMA 32 in Dublin.

Lohore (13-1) won the vacant BAMMA welterweight title last month at BAMMA 31 in London. Fighting his longtime rival Nathan Jones on the night, Lohore knocked out “Mr Bag & Tag” with a knee in the first round.

Q: Obviously the rivalry between you and Jones had been going on for years, but you finished it in brutal fashion. Did you to speak to him after the fight?

Yeah I did have a chat with him. I was telling him that it was a great fight and we should train together sometime, but he was he wasn’t really keen on it. I guess he was still a bit sore about the defeat.

Q: In the cage after your win, you called out Richard Kiely, now you’re fighting him. Are you happy you got the opponent you asked for?

Everyone keeps saying I called him out, I didn’t call him out, he called me out! I didn’t even address his name, I said ‘this Irish kid has been running his mouth we’re going to go out there and shut him up.’ I didn’t even know who he was. He’s been mentioning my name and talking a lot of rubbish on my social media disturbing me and my fans.

Q: The finish against Jones was picture perfect. From the elbow, to the right hand, to the knee, was it the best of your career?

Yeah I think it is, by far! It was perfect technique. I knew as he was going he back he would try to duck in for the takedown. Because I was throwing the head kick anyway all I needed to do was just switch it to a knee. I couldn’t ask for any better.

Q: Given it’s in Dublin and Richard is Irish, How do you feel about going into enemy territory at BAMMA 32?

That’s great, that’s why I’m doing it! I need to be comfortable in every environment, so going out there will test. I wanted to be on the Dublin card, now I can teach him a little lesson too, I can’t wait.

Q: As you know the Geordie Shore star Aaron Chalmers has brought a lot of attention to BAMMA recently, what are your thoughts on him? 

He’s good man. For someone who doesn’t come from a fighting background and does reality TV stuff, he’s doing good. How can people say he should fight someone more experienced, because he is taking  guys that are on his level and he’s doing good.

He’s helping MMA fighters because he has got a big following so more people are going to be watching MMA and learning about MMA so it’s a good thing having him on board.

BAMMA32 will take place at the 3Arena in Dublin on November 10th. Tickets are now on sale at ticketmaster.ie. The card will air live on both UNILAD’s Facebook page, and Dave.

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