Former Invicta Fighting Championships Atomweight Champion Michelle Waterson picked up the biggest win of her UFC career this past Saturday Night when she defeated Paige VanZant in the main event of UFC On Fox 22. However, Waterson believes that it was the way she approached the fight that messed with VanZant and helped lead her to victory.
“I think that me switching to southpaw really threw her off guard,” Waterson told reporters at the post-fight press conference. “I think she looked at me and was like, ‘Hold up. That’s not what we were getting ready for.’ So it just kind of screwed with her head. That was our game plan from the beginning – to just stop her momentum. And going southpaw did exactly that.”
VanZant, although her performance goes down as a submission loss, never actually tapped to the rear naked choke from Waterson, but instead went unconscious fighting the choke.
“That’s how you know she’s a fighter. She wasn’t going to tap,” she said.
It had also been nearly two years since Waterson was last seen in the octagon before UFC On Fox 22, but the strawweight believes the time off did wonders for her.
“The year and a half really allowed me to become comfortable in my skin and know how I am I as a fighter, and to know that this is where I belong,” she said. “I don’t need to force anything.”
Waterson is currently the #11 ranked strawweight in the UFC, besides defeating VanZant, Waterson has also defeated Angela Magana under the UFC banner.