UFC veterans Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson and Roxanne “Happy Warrior” Modafferi posted hard-earned decision victories at UFC Fight Night at UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday morning.
Waterson trailed early but rallied in the latter rounds to eke out a split decision victory over Angela Hill.
Modafferi, on the other hand, earned a 29-28 result on all three judges to gain a unanimous decision victory over Andrea Lee. Modafferi relied on her strong grappling game to take down Lee several times through their three-round fight to earn the convincing victory.
Despite the close decision Waterson said she had no doubt of the victory after rallying late and controlling the fight starting in the third round.
“I was confident but you know, we talk about this the whole time leading up to the fight, you never want to leave it to the judges. I got another split decision. That doesn’t leave a good feeling in your stomach, you know,” Waterson said.
Waterson showed up during the post-fight press conference with bruises all over her face and big welts just above her left eye and on the left side of her lip. She was all smiles during the interview saying she didn’t mind getting beat up as long as she won.
“It’s the new eye shadow color. Black on purple. Every time you take damage and get a victory, it doesn’t hurt. So I’m happy to come home with the victory,” she said.
Waterson trailed early but dug deep into her reserve to rally late in the fight to pull out the hard-earned victory. Starting in the third Waterson consistently moved just outside the reach of Hill’s power shots while connecting on her own strikes from long range.
“I think for me, honestly, it was just adjustment within a couple of inches. You know just being a little further back in reserve. Trying to fight on the outskirts versus biting down, sitting in a little bit deeper and intruding on her space. Just deciding, ‘alright let’s to go forward,’ ” said Waterson who was clearly in her element in the latter rounds. She even managed to smile during the exchanges while taking damage.
“It’s a fight. This is what we love to do. I think everybody has that within themselves. It’s like fight or flight. I always remember being in the sport of karate and getting kicked in the face, seeing the blood come down my face and not wanting to retreat and actually wanting to move forward. Sometimes, you just have to get hit to feel that way. ‘Alright, let’s go. This is a fight,’ ” said Waterson.
“After the third round I feel the tide has changed. I felt like I was the aggressor. I was the one in her face, pushing the pace and landing the hard shots.”
For her next opponent Waterson said she wanted to fight whoever would get her closer to a UFC title shot in the soonest time.
“The goal has always been to fight for the belt. You know, I’ve been chomping away at this for a really long time and I want to get there. You know. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m like chipping away. Chipping away. And I just gotta go forward,” said Waterson.
Waterson said she wanted to complete a takedown right from the opening bell and finally managed to do it cleanly in the third as she controlled her opponent on the mat but couldn’t quite complete the finish.
“I know I don’t talk about it much but I wanted to submit her. I wanted to take her down and finish the fight,” said Waterson.
The UFC veteran reached out to the fight fans all over the world. She had encouraging words for everyone suffering during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Everybody around the world is feeling pain and hurt. I encourage you to embrace that pain and that hurt and to use it to propel you forward rather than hold you down. So I’m sending my love out to everybody,” said Waterson.
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