Michelle Waterson made quick work of Paige VanZant, submitting her with a rear-naked choke in the UFC Sacramento main event.
Paige VanZant has quickly risen to become one of the higher profile female fighters in the world just five fights into her UFC career. With a 4-1 record and a hyper-aggressive style, she’s gained many fans at 22-years-old. Her appearance and second place finish on Dancing with the Stars only added to that number of fans. VanZant is coming off of an incredible jumping switch kick knockout over Bec Rawlings.
Michelle Waterson has had a rough Octagon career. Since defeating Angela Magana in July of 2015, Waterson has pulled out of two bouts with injuries. “The Karate Hottie” is a former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion, and moved up to strawweight to join the big show.
Waterson opened up the fight with side kicks to keep VanZant off of her. VanZant was caught continuously by a lead right from Waterson. “12 Gauge” closed the distance and attempted her patented head-and-arm throw, but Waterson slipped out with ease.
From there, VanZant had control in the clinch, until Waterson threw her to the floor and took the back of VanZant quickly. Waterson was able to sneak an arm under the chin, but VanZant fought off the choke for an extremely long time.
After quite a few grip changes and near-escapes from VanZant, she finally went out. Once John McCarthy stopped the fight, PVZ popped up immediately. Paige refused to tap out despite having Waterson’s arm under her chin for nearly a minute.
It was a great statement win for Michelle Waterson, who is back on people’s radars with a huge FOX main event victory. Another top-10 opponent is next for her, perhaps even top-five. If Tecia Torres gets passed Bec Rawlings in February, the UFC could attempt to match the two up again.