Waterson says when she called VanZant “green,” it wasn’t trash-talk but just assessing reality (w/Cervantes Analysis)

By Jonathan Cervantes, MMATorch contributor

Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Michelle Waterson
Michelle Waterson (photo credit Kyle Terada © USA Today Sports)

Michelle Waterson made quick work of Paige VanZant, defeating her in Saturday night’s main event broadcast on Fox.

During the post-fight press conference, Waterson clarified why she called VanZant “green” leading up to the fight, referring to VanZant’s youth and lack of experience. “I’m not one to disrespect any fighters,” she said. “But I am also trying to be more outspoken and honest with myself when I answer questions. And so, I didn’t mean it as disrespect, I meant it just as an honest answer, coming from somebody’s that been doing martial arts for 20 years and fighting professionally for 10 years. And she just hasn’t.”

She also discussed her game plan for the fight and how she got inside VanZant’s mind. “I think that me switching to southpaw really threw her off guard,” Waterson said. “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.”

When asked about who she’d like to face next, Waterson said she’d let the UFC decide and wait until then. “The year and a half (off) 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 entered the bout ranked 11th and improves to 14-4.

Cervantes Analysis: I’m not sure why Waterson came in as an underdog against VanZant. She has way more experience, has fought more elite competition in her career, and was a champion in Invicta, so it was a little unusual that VanZant was favored. Either way, she dominated the fight and put herself on the map and will definitely find herself in a match with a top ten opponent in her next outing. Waterson is an excellent addition to the growing Strawweight Division.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT NEWS UPDATE: VanZant says losses happen, she got caught, but she believes she’s still going to go very very far in MMA (w/Cervantes Analysis)

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