At the moment final week, Waterson wasn’t scheduled to battle on the ESPN-televised card on the UFC Apex in a ladies’s flyweight headliner with Marina Rodriguez. That spot was reserved for T.J. Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen.
However when Dillashaw suffered a lower in coaching, the promotion was compelled to scramble for a brand new prime bout. Waterson (18-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) received the decision with Rodriguez (14-1-2 MMA, 3-1-2 UFC) on the opposite facet, and he or she stated it lined up completely along with her mentality of not eager to let any good alternatives slip previous her.
“I’ve been preventing for 15 years now, and I do know I solely received a pair extra good years in me and the extra I notice that, the extra I need to benefit from each alternative when it presents itself,” Waterson informed MMA Junkie at UFC on ESPN 23 media day on Wednesday. “You don’t notice what you may have till it’s gone. COVID confirmed all of us lots of that. I like this. I like to battle. I like to go on the market. I like to carry out. I like the followers, I like the media, and generally you may simply get so wrapped up within the monotony of preventing, the coaching, the stress, and the negativity of the skin noise, and also you neglect about all of the issues that made you fall in love with it to start with.
“So, when this chance introduced itself, I’m telling my husband (and supervisor), ‘Cease enjoying with my feelings.’ This complete yr has been a complete sequence of up and downs for me. Simply falling again in love with performing, with preventing. I informed my husband, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’”
Waterson stated she was significantly impressed to compete recent of a title battle in her division. The short-notice nature of UFC on ESPN 23 means she’s preventing Rodriguez at 125 kilos, however each ladies sometimes compete at strawweight.
Rose Namajunas simply placed on a sensational title-winning effort towards Weili Zhang at UFC 261, and that had Waterson itching to get again within the octagon.
A matchup with Rodriguez is a giant one for the division, too. Each ladies are attempting to make pushes towards preventing for the belt, and Waterson stated she expects to placed on an eye-opening efficiency that can stir dialog about being a title contender.
“She’s a stand-up banger who likes muay Thai, heavy palms, she’s good within the clinch, and I actually like this battle stylistically,” Waterson stated. “I’ve been in there with the most effective of the most effective strikers, Joanna and Rose – I do know the place I stand within the division, so I feel this can be a nice matchup for me to point out the world I belong on the prime.”