At this time last week, Waterson wasn’t scheduled to battle on the ESPN-televised card at the UFC Apex in a girls folk’s flyweight headliner with Marina Rodriguez. That status was once reserved for T.J. Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen.
But when Dillashaw suffered a scale back in coaching, the promotion was once compelled to paddle for a brand original top bout. Waterson (18-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) obtained the call with Rodriguez (14-1-2 MMA, 3-1-2 UFC) on the other aspect, and she or he acknowledged it lined up completely together with her mentality of no longer looking out to let any perfect opportunities skedaddle previous her.
“I’ve been combating for 15 years now, and I do know I only obtained a pair more perfect years in me and the more I realize that, the more I desire to buy perfect thing about every opportunity when it items itself,” Waterson educated MMA Junkie at UFC on ESPN 23 media day on Wednesday. “You don’t realize what you hold except it’s gone. COVID showed all of us loads of that. I truly look after this. I truly look after to battle. I truly look after to exit there. I truly look after to accomplish. I truly look after the fans, I truly look after the media, and occasionally you can appropriate win so wrapped up in the monotony of combating, the coaching, the strain, and the negativity of the begin air noise, and you ignore all the issues that made you fall in bask in with it initially.
“So, when this opportunity presented itself, I’m telling my husband (and manager), ‘Quit having fun with with my emotions.’ This total 12 months has been a total sequence of up and downs for me. Accurate falling support in bask in with performing, with combating. I educated my husband, ‘Yeah, let’s possess it.’”
Waterson acknowledged she was once specifically impressed to compete new of a title battle in her division. The immediate-stare nature of UFC on ESPN 23 device she’s combating Rodriguez at 125 kilos, nevertheless every girls folk in most cases compete at strawweight.
Rose Namajunas appropriate keep on a sensational title-successful effort against Weili Zhang at UFC 261, and that had Waterson itching to win support in the octagon.
A matchup with Rodriguez is a extensive one for the division, too. Every girls folk attempt to win pushes toward combating for the belt, and Waterson acknowledged she expects to keep on an peek-opening performance that will race conversation about being a title contender.
“She’s a stand-up banger who likes muay Thai, heavy fingers, she’s perfect in the clinch, and I truly look after this battle stylistically,” Waterson acknowledged. “I’ve been in there with the only of the only strikers, Joanna and Rose – I do know the place I stand in the division, so I catch right here’s a great matchup for me to show the world I belong at the top.”