“Karate Hottie” Ready To Explode At Strikeforce “Payback”
SAN JOSE, Calif. —To the naked eye, Michelle Waterson looks more like she
should be gracing the pages of Maxim rather than beating up on opponents in
caged combat. Just like the old cliché “looks can be deceiving” goes though,
it turns out that the petite, 22 year old, otherwise known as the “Karate
Hottie,” packs as much firepower as she does gorgeous looks.
Waterson, a former bikini model and native of Aurora, Colorado, has been
throwing kicks and punches since the age of 10 when she took her first Karate
class and, on Friday, she will attempt to give her hometown fans a dose of
brutal theatrics when she makes her seventh professional start in mixed martial
arts (MMA) competition at Broomfield Event Center.
“It’s gonna be an explosive fight,” said Waterson, who will face Tyra
Parker on the 10-bout Strikeforce “Payback” card. The matchup will mark Waterson’
s debut with the growing Strikeforce organization. “I heard Tyra’s really
aggressive and good on the ground so it should be very exciting for the fans.
As a contestant on the 2007 Oxygen network series, “Fight Girls,” a reality
program that gave female kickboxers the opportunity to train and battle one
another while living at a Las Vegas, Nevada martial arts camp, Waterson
introduced herself to a national audience.
“It was a great experience,” said Waterson of the time she spent filming
the show. “ It helped me become a stronger person and helped me learn how to
deal with problems on my own. It also showed me that fighting is not just
physical, but also mental.”
Shortly before the TV stint, Waterson, who is half American and half Thai by
descent, took a trip to Thailand where she fell in love with the country’s
national sport – Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing).
It was the culmination of her past experiences in martial arts and her
burning desire to excel at the sport of MMA that, a year and a half ago, led her
to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she has taken up residence to train under
Greg Jackson, guru of one of the most finely tuned fight teams in the country.
“I needed to come here to take my career to the next level,” explained
Waterson. “I’ve learned how to grapple on the ground and use my wrestling as a
weapon. I’m a much more well-rounded fighter now.
Her work with Team Jackson produced dividends five weeks ago when she forced
an opponent to submit from an armbar just 22 seconds into their bout. “
Albuquerque has become a second home for me, and the Jackson team has become my
Tickets for Strikeforce “Payback,” priced from $30, are on sale at
Ticketmaster (303-830-TIXS) and Ticketmaster.com
In the main event of the 10-bout card, knockout artist and Denver native,
Duane “Bang” Ludwig (16-8), will attempt to avenge a previous knockout at the
hands of “The Ultimate Fighter” season three veteran, Sam “The Squeeze”
Morgan (19-10). Superstar Frank “Twinkle Toes” Trigg (17-6) will take on
Hawaiian submission expert, Falaniko “Niko” Vitale (26-8), in a featured
middleweight (185 lb. limit) contest.
Broomfield Event Center doors will open for Strikeforce “Payback” at 5:30
PM MST and the preliminary card will begin at 6:30 PM MST. The main card will
commence at 8 PM MST.
Strikeforce is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which,
on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie”
event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state
history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank
Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP
Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995,
Strikeforce has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN
and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing
promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts series with “Shamrock vs.
Gracie.” Since then, it has co-produced the first SHOWTIME PPV mixed
martial arts event in history with its world championship “Shamrock vs. Baroni”
card on June 22, 2007 followed by the first-ever mixed martial arts event at
the world-famous Playboy Mansion on September 29, 2007. On April 12th of this
year, Strikeforce launched the first-ever 52 week MMA series on one of the
four major television networks in The U.S. – NBC.
Mike Afromowitz, Strikeforce – (917) 566-8754 or