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Thread: Michelle 'Karate Hottie' Waterson

  1. #16
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    Forbes interview

    Feb 20, 2019, 11:00am
    MMA Fighter Michelle Waterson Talks Combat Sports, Holly Holm And Ronda Rousey
    Andy Frye
    Contributor
    SportsMoney
    I do Q&A's with pro athletes and cover sports, sports business


    LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 05: Michelle Waterson poses on the scale during the UFC 229 weigh-in inside T-Mobile Arena on October 5, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)GETTY

    Michelle Waterson, also known in fighting circles as "The Karate Hottie" has been doing martial arts since she was 10 years old. Currently Waterson is ranked No. 8 among women in the strawweight category. The 33-year old fighter holds a 16-6 record overall in mixed martial arts competitions and is known for her versatility in the ring, boasting a style that mixes jiu-jitsu, karate, and traditional boxing styles into her repertoire.

    In fall 2017, Waterson joined Kobe Bryant and a handful of other professional combat athletes including UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt, UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou, and UFC strawweight Cynthia Calvillo, as a part of BodyArmor's athlete ambassadors team. And, when Waterson is not in the ring, she's busy as a mother to a young daughter. Looking ahead in 2019, the 5 foot 3, 115 lbs fighter is scheduled to take on No. 5 ranked Karolina Kowalkiewicz this March.

    Last week Waterson spoke by phone with Forbes and talked about the modern MMA fighter's tough daily regimen, and also what women have influenced her as a professional fighter.

    What motivated you toward combat sports and got you to start fighting?

    I have an older brother and I wanted to be just like him. When we were little kids we were into combat superheroes such as the Power Rangers, and when he got into martial arts, I followed suit. Every time I went to class I wanted to learn more and more. Because I was always a smaller person it helped me develop as a teen and into a young adult. I never thought (fighting professionally) was going to be an option for me but when I saw my first fights, I thought it was fun and wanted to do it, so I started training at that level. It was very different from that more artistic style of martial arts I learned growing up, but that’s why I loved it.

    I’ve been fighting professionally for 12 years now and I use martial arts in every aspect of motivation my life, even in raising my daughter.

    Today most people on the street probably don’t know the current boxing heavyweight champion but know who Ronda Rousey is. What’s your perspective on that, and women in combat sports?

    I remember watching my first female fight broadcast on national TV and it was between Gina Carano and Julie Kedzie. Later both became friends of mine, as Gina and I were on Fight Girls, and I met Julie when I trained in New Mexico at the beginning of my career.

    It seems like a long time ago, and maybe a bit taboo that women would be in fighting sports. Then Ronda Rousey came around and became dominant in the sport, and that helped give women visibility and a voice. We were always there, but with her being pretty outspoken helped open the floodgates and let more of us get recognized for performing at the highest level of fight sports, which is UFC.

    Of all the female fighters, I’d say that for me Holly Holm has been a huge inspiration. She’s an amazing person both inside and outside the octagon, and she’s a good example of someone who’s passionate and pushing the sport further.



    Holly Holm has been both a champion in boxing and in MMA style fighting. Do you think other women look to multiple different styles, as you have in your training?

    I think MMA is a very young sport still figuring out what it is becoming. I think a lot of fighters, not just women, come with a specialty style, assets, and background. But we learn quickly that it is MMA for a reason — you have to learn how to blend all martial arts styles together to be effective in the octagon. The UFC and MMA have reached a point to which, if you are not blending styles you will fall behind.

    Talk about your training regimen. What do you do every day?

    Fight camp for me is usually eight weeks. That’s my sweet spot. Some people do more, some do less. The basic outlook of the week is that I’m trying three to four times a day, with road work and runs up to three miles a day, and then one day of sprints and tabatas to get my heart rate up and also train my body to get my heart rate back down. During the week I do two sessions of stand-up mitt work with my striking coach, and three sessions of jiu-jitsu, two sessions of wrestling, two sessions of MMA sparring, and one session of big glove kickboxing and sparring.

    Then throughout the week I’ll do, mixed in to all that, two sessions of strength conditioning, plus plenty of study on my next opponent and some type of mental practice to keep my mind sharp.

    I subscribe to the idea that the body is your temple, pushing yourself is part of it, but hydration and rejuvenation is key, so obviously nutrition is important and my BodyArmor partnership helps in that In MMA, your body is your set of tools, so there are no accessories.

    Frye has written previously for ESPN.com and covered sports for Rolling Stone. Follow his Twitter at @MySportsComplex
    Andy Frye
    Contributor
    Some day I still hope to interview her on her wushu background.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #17
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    making weight

    Michelle Waterson ‘disheartened’ by UFC Tampa weigh-in debacle, Joanna Jedrzejczyk wants her to calm down
    “For me it’s nonsense and justification of herself. I don’t know, maybe it makes her feel better about it, and she’s able to lift it somehow psychologically. Every fighter cuts weight and it’s not pleasant for anyone. And she puts the guilt on her dietary team. Doesn’t Joanna use her own brain? In my opinion, this is just one big fraud.” —Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Feb. 2018
    By Jesse Holland Oct 9, 2019, 4:03pm EDT


    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    In what will no doubt come as disappointing news to Paige VanZant, who was hoping to capitalize on a strawweight opportunity later this year, it seems top ranked 115-pound contender, Michelle Waterson, is moving forward with her UFC Fight Night 161 main event this weekend on ESPN+ in Tampa, Florida.

    And because the “Karate Hottie” would not be pressured into taking a catch-weight fight, opponent Joanna Jedrzejczyk will be forced to attempt another “scary weight cut,” a situation that has left Waterson feeling both distracted and disheartened.

    “I heard that Joanna was having trouble making weight and that she wanted to renegotiate the contract at 120 [pounds],” Waterson told MMA Fighting. “I took this fight under the assumption that we were both in contention for the strawweight belt, and to me, that’s a very serious undertaking. There’s only a couple things you have to do as a fighter, and one of them is make weight. My intention is to fight for the strawweight belt—not for the flyweight belt, not for the featherweight belt. The 115 belt.”

    The winner of this fight, assuming it goes off without a hitch — or a fatality — is expected to move on to challenge reigning women’s strawweight champion Weili Zhang, who captured the crown with a first-round destruction of Jessica Andrade back in August.

    A bout that will not afford the one-pound allowance exclusive to non-title fights.

    “She’s made the weight plenty of times,” Waterson continued. “She’s fought at strawweight more than she’s fought at any other weight in the UFC. I don’t see how this would be any different. We’ve both known about this fight for quite some time, so that’s the most disheartening part of it all. I took this fight so I could fight Weili [Zhang] next—not [Valentina] Shevchenko.”

    Despite today’s weight-cutting headlines, Jedrzejczyk can’t seem to figure out what all the fuss is about. By her estimation, any talk of coming in heavy is premature, as the UFC Tampa weigh-ins are scheduled for Friday morning, giving her plenty of time to shed the excess pounds.

    “Did I miss something? Did I miss the weigh-ins today or what? Because the weigh-ins are on Friday,” Jedrzejczyk told her Instagram followers. “I don’t know what’s going on, the weigh-ins are [Friday] and you’re all worried. The fight is on, the weigh-ins are on Friday. Keep it calm, guys. All fine, step-by-step. I will see you there.”

    I think she did miss something, like this report claiming she informed UFC of her inability to make weight as early as last week. Perhaps it was an attempt to skip the brutal weight cut by getting Waterson to grant leniency, but “Karate Hottie” wasn’t taking the bait.

    Friday morning is going to be very, very interesting.
    I'm curious if anyone here has ever had to cut weight for a fight. I mean, I'm always trying to lose weight but not like that.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #18
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    Joanna Jedrzejczyk

    UFC: Joanna Jedrzejczyk would ‘take a canoe to China’ to beat up Zhang Weili – ‘I know I’m better than her’
    Former strawweight champion says she’s waiting for a date and location for title shot against China’s Zhang
    ‘Anytime, anywhere … I see gaps in her game, I’m the more well-rounded fighter’
    Tom Taylor
    Published: 12:51pm, 15 Nov, 2019


    Joanna Jedrzejczyk in Bali, Indonesia. Photo: Instagram

    Not long ago, former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk was sizzling under the tropical sun in Bali, Indonesia. Fighting was the ****hest thing from her mind.
    That’s changed now.
    Jedrzejczyk is back in her native Poland and, having nearly recovered from the injuries she sustained in her impressive October defeat of Michelle Waterson, will soon be ready to attempt to reclaim the strawweight title she once guarded so ferociously.
    It’s an opportunity she was promised.


    Joanna Jedrzejczyk at the hospital after beating Michelle Waterson. Photo: Instagram

    “I signed an agreement before the fight with Michelle Waterson,” Jedrzejczyk told the Post mere days after her holiday ended. “I knew that after I got the victory I was going to fight for the belt. This is what’s going to happen next, and I’m just waiting for the date and the location, and then we’re going to rock it.”
    The UFC strawweight title, which Jedrzejczyk defended a record-breaking five times before her reign ended, is currently guarded by Hebei’s Zhang Weili.


    Zhang Weili walks off after beating Jessica Andrade for the strawweight title at UFC Shenzhen. Photo: Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC

    Zhang swiped the title in August, cudgelling Jessica Andrade to a TKO victory in just 42 seconds.
    Jedrzejczyk is impressed by the current strawweight champ – and by anybody with the skill and hardihood to capture a UFC belt – but is fully confident she’s the better fighter of the two.
    “She’s the champ,” Jedrzejczyk said of Zhang. “There is more than 500 athletes in the UFC, and only 12 champions with the new divisions. If you can make it, good.


    Zhang Weili celebrates her UFC Shenzhen triumph. Photo: Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC

    “She made it. I was very impressed. Actually, the day before her fight [with Andrade], I said that she was going to win, that she was going to surprise, and she did. But I can see some gaps, I can see good and bad sides [of her game].”
    Jedrzejczyk is particularly complimentary of the champion’s power, but believes her own well-roundedness will propel her to victory in their fight.
    “She’s explosive, her punches are juicy, crispy, she has knockout power behind her punches,” she said. “She’s young, she’s hungry. But I know I’m better. I’m the more well-rounded fighter.”


    Zhang Weili is China’s first UFC champion. Photo: Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC

    As of yet, this widely anticipated title fight is unscheduled, but Jedrzejczyk is hoping it will soon be pencilled on to the calendar for early 2020. As for the setting of the fight? She doesn’t care.
    She’s even willing to fight Zhang in China.
    “Anywhere, anytime,” she said. “Bangkok, Sri Lanka, Warsaw, Toronto, it doesn’t matter where. For me, it doesn’t matter. I will make my way. Even if we have to take a canoe, I will make it to China and beat the s*** out of her.”


    Jessica Andrade gets kicked by Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 211. Photo: AFP

    Jedrzejczyk does not have a specific prediction for this fight with Zhang, but she is promising that we’ll see “the old JJ”.
    For those with short memories, the Jedrzejczyk of old was not only one of the UFC’s most dominant champions, but perhaps the most ferocious fighter in the sport, regardless of weight class or gender.
    Even after a laid-back holiday on the sun-dappled beaches of Bali, the former champ flaunts sniper-like focus. She’s already picturing the moment that the belt is wrapped around her waist again.
    “It’s gonna feel better than the first five [defences],” she said. “It’ll be different – bigger. It’s going to be a very special moment. It will cement my legacy.”
    Zhang Weili has reinvigorated my interest in UFC.

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    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  4. #19
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    Michelle 'Karate Hottie' Waterson

    Jun 28, 2021 8:44am PT
    Timothy Olyphant, Justin Cornwell and Others Join Tom Hardy in Netflix Action Thriller ‘Havoc’ (EXCLUSIVE)
    By Rebecca Rubin, Patrick Frater

    Courtesy of Netflix
    “Havoc,” an action thriller starring Tom Hardy and Forest Whitaker, has rounded out its cast.

    In addition to the previously announced Hardy and Whitaker, the Netflix movie will also feature Timothy Olyphant, “Training Day” and “The Umbrella Academy” actor Justin Cornwell, star of the upcoming Edgar Wright horror film “Last Night in Soho” Jessie Mei Li and Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann. Supporting cast members include Quelin Sepulveda, “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia” actor Luis Guzmán, “Headshot” star Sunny Pang, and UFC mixed martial artist Michelle Waterson.

    “Havoc” takes place after a drug deal gone wrong and centers on a bruised detective who must fight his way through a criminal underworld to rescue a politician’s estranged son, while unraveling a deep web of corruption and conspiracy that ensnares his entire city.


    Gareth Evans is writing and directing the movie as part of his recently announced deal to produce and direct films exclusively for Netflix for the next several years. “Havoc” will be Evans first feature under the new creative partnership.

    Long based in Indonesia, Evans is the director of kinetic action films “The Raid: Redemption” and “The Raid II” that enjoyed international success in 2011 and 2014, respectively. Along with his first feature, “Merantau,” the movies spawned a host of imitators, with many attempting to integrate lesser-known forms of martial arts. On the TV front, he co-created the TV crime series “Gangs of London.”

    Olyphant, best known for the FX Western series “Justified,” had a part in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” as well as “Santa Clarita Diet” and the latest season of “The Mandalorian.”

    Cornwell recently appeared in the Netflix original musical “Jingle Jangle” and acted alongside Chris Pine in the mini-series “I Am the Night.” Li currently stars in Netflix’s fantasy series “Shadow and Bone” as Alina Starkov and was in a 2019 stage production of “All About Eve.”

    Yeo is a Malaysia-born, Singapore-based actor whose career rebounded with her starring role in Anthony Chen’s foreign language Oscar contender “Ilo Ilo” and Chen’s follow up film “Wet Season.” She also picked up an Emmy nomination in 2020 for her role in HBO Asia series “Invisible Stories.” “My heart is filled with excitement,” she told Variety. “[I] can’t wait to start the shoot.”

    Producers on “Havoc” include Hardy, Evans for One More One Productions, Ed Talfan for Severn Screen and Aram Tertzakian for XYZ Films.

    Yeo is managed by Echelon Talent Management.
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    Gene Ching
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