Michelle Waterson will be fighting a familiar opponent in the co-main event of UFC Long Island on Saturday.
After Waterson was forced out of her Amanda Ribas fight at UFC Columbus in March, she said it might be a career-ending injury if she never took care of it. After rehabbing the injury, she is set to return against Amanda Lemos on Saturday.
“I think a lot of people misunderstood what I said,” Waterson said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “It could have been a career-ending injury but what I was trying to say was if I didn’t take care of it, it had the potential to be a career-ending injury. It is one of those things I kept trying to fight through and it was pushing back and my body said I needed to stop.”
Once Waterson was healthy, she thought the Ribas fight might finally come together after the two have been booked multiple times. However, she was offered Amanda Lemos who was coming off a UFC main event loss to Jessica Andrade.
Although this is a different fight than what Waterson thought, she is excited for the challenge. Not only that, but ‘The Karate Hottie’ revealed she used to train with Lemos so is eager to see how much both of them changed and improved.
“She had just come off that fight with Jessica Andrade and I thought she was doing well until she got caught,” Waterson said. “They hit me up with the opportunity and I went back to my coaches and I thought it was a good matchup… Amanda actually trained with us at Jackson’s when she fought at 135, so I know her. We’ve trained together. I think we both have changed so much then, she has dropped down in weight, changed camps, and is a more motivated fighter. But, to me, there are things you hold onto as a fighter that just become habitual and there are some things she knows about me and vice versa. I think it will be a great fight.”
With Michelle Waterson knowing Amanda Lemos well, she is confident she will get her hand raised and believes she can do so by KO.
“I’ve been trying to take these girls down for the last couple of fights and none of them want to go to the ground with me,” Waterson said. “We are both standup fighters, but wherever it goes I’m ready… I would love to have a knockout of the night, I’ve had the submission of the night, I’ve had the fight of the night so know I want the knockout of the night.”
If Waterson does as she says and gets the knockout win, she isn’t sure where that puts her. But, she knows she is always near a title shot, and with Carla Esparza as the champ, she hopes a rematch can happen eventually.
“You just never know. My entire career, I’ve been one fight away from fighting for the belt. I don’t focus on that anymore and I just go in there to win the fight and whatever happens after that happens,” Waterson concluded.
Do you think Michelle Waterson will beat Amanda Lemos at UFC Long Island?