Michelle Waterson-Gomez plans to be “the dominant fighter” against Luana Pinheiro at UFC 287: “I wouldn’t say she is a well-rounded fighter”

By Cole Shelton - April 4, 2023

Michelle Waterson-Gomez is excited to stay with the UFC.

Michelle Waterson

‘The Karate Hottie’ fought out her previous UFC contract last July, suffering a submission loss to Amanda Lemos. Despite the disappointing setback, the UFC re-signed her to a new eight-fight deal which Waterson-Gomez was obviously excited about.

“I wanted to get in before the end of the year,” Waterson-Gomez said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “But it was my last fight on the contract, and we were trying to button up some things before we move forward. I think this is a great fight moving forward, re-signing my contract with the UFC and continuing my journey.”

Once Waterson-Gomez re-signed with the UFC, she wasn’t sure what would be next for her. Yet, when she was offered Luana Pinheiro at UFC 287 in Miami she jumped at the chance, even though it isn’t a top-10 opponent like she is used to facing.

“Everything was up in the air. Since I’ve fought in the UFC, I’ve only fought top-10 girls, probably outside of (Angela) Magana,” Waterson-Gomez added. “That is kind of where I have been, it’s a huge fight, I want to say I’ve fought every champion outside of Weili. All my fights are huge fights and I love that as it makes me better as a martial artist. But, losing that fight left me sitting and pondering for a while but the entire 115lbs division is stacked. We have to keep an eye out for all these girls. I’m just excited and thrilled to continue my journey there.”

Although Luana Pinheiro only has two UFC fights, Michelle Waterson-Gomez was familiar with her. She studies most of her fellow strawweight’s and thought this would be a good matchup for her.

Michelle Waterson-Gomez knows that if she can keep the fight standing, she holds a major advantage as she thinks Pinheiro is more of a grappler. With that, ‘The Karate Hottie’ expects to dominate Pinheiro and return to the win column.

“I wouldn’t say she is a well-rounded fighter; I do think she has great judo,” Waterson-Gomez said. “It looks to me like she has good power but there are some things that she is still trying to figure out as a fighter. I think I will be able to capitalize on those instances… I’d rather go in there and be in the moment and let it fly. Obviously with the intent to connect and be the dominant fighter.”

If Waterson-Gomez gets the win at UFC 287 as she suspects, ‘The Karate Hottie’ is uncertain what would be next for her. She knows she can fight and hang with anyone in the division so she hopes it is someone near the top of the division.

“I think I have gotten to a point in my career where I am just really enjoying being in the moment and stepping into the Octagon and having the chance to do what I love. I really haven’t looked much further into it,” Waterson-Gomez concluded. “As I said, I have gotten to a place where I know who I am and I know what I bring to the table and I already consider myself at the top of the division, anything else is just a bonus.”

Do you think Michelle Waterson-Gomez will beat Luana Pinheiro at UFC 287?


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