‘The Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson is back in action tomorrow night at UFC Philadelphia when she faces off with perennial top 10 strawweight contender and former title challenger, Poland’s Karolina Kowalkiewicz. A win for Waterson will put her on her first three-fight winning streak at 115-pounds since 2012.
Prior to her UFC debut in July 2015, the JacksonWink MMA product had established herself as one of the world’s best atomweight fighters as she would earn the Invicta FC title in her second fight after dropping down to the division in October 2012. Waterson would dethrone the then champion, Jessica Penne in an instant classic before going on to defend the belt once.
The 105-pound atomweight class isn’t currently in the UFC, but the former champ, among others at 115-pounds including Penne, believes that now is the time for the continually expanding weight class.
“If there are girls fighting at atomweight, then they should make a division for that in the UFC,” Waterson said at UFC Philadelphia’s media day (via Cageside Press). “If you build it, they will come. Give them a place to shine, and they will come and they will perform and they will pour their hearts out just like the rest of the girls have coming into the UFC. Dana White’s seen it, and he’s been able to reap the benefits of the passion that all the females bring to the UFC, to the sport of mixed martial arts, and to martial arts in general.
“There are little girls who have trained since they were three, four years old doing karate, jiu-jitsu, and they want a platform when they grow up. So just give it to them. Give it to them.”
There has been plenty of speculation in regards to the division’s introduction in the near future and with more and more UFC fighters expressing interest in it, only time will tell if it will end up being the next division added or not.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/29/2019