While nothing is official or announced, the UFC is reportedly looking to return on May 9, in a location unknown to many, but there has been a full fight card reportedly put together. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was first to report the fights on the possible card and they include a strawweight matchup between former champion Carla Esparza and Michelle Waterson.
On Thursday night Waterson was a guest on Sirius XM’s MMA Tonight and opened up on her decision to take the fight against Esparza, with so much uncertainty surrounding the event. Waterson told hosts RJ Clifford and Jimmy Smith that there was no hesitation on her end to take the fight.
🔊🚨 @karatehottiemma tells @RJcliffordMMA & @jimmysmithmma why she took her fight vs. Carla Esparza without hesitation, and details the unconventional training camp that's getting her prepared. 👊 pic.twitter.com/0n4WQ3cEOe
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) April 17, 2020
“Absolutely not. This whole situation with the Coronavirus and with the worldwide lockdown, this is history in the making and if there is history to be made, I would love to be a part of it. I understand and know that Dana White and the UFC and everybody involved is going to do their best to make it happen, for a number of reasons, to be able to give fighters and the UFC employees an opportunity to make money, to try and stimulate the economy, to try and keep things chugging and rolling along.
“There’s lots of things going on but I think it’s important for us to keep fighting, that’s what we do, we’re fighters. It’s a bit different as a professional fighter than it would be a professional NBA player or football player, those things get put on hold but they get paid huge salaries with huge bonuses, as a fighter that’s not the same so we need to continue to train and continue to fight to make money and support our family.”
Training without having a set date in place for her fight has presented challenges for Waterson but she told Sirius XM it’s a balancing act.
“It really is a balancing act and I think it’s more of a test of mental strength than it is anything else, I think it’s important to understand your body. It is a different fight camp because we’re all quarantined, it’s not like I can spar twice a week, it’s not like I have a handful of fighters to drill with, it’s me and my husband. My coaches come in maybe once a week at my house, which we’re actually blessed cause we have a home gym that pretty much has everything we need. It’s a different world and it’s definitely a different type of fight camp but I’m definitely excited to take on the challenge.
With the circumstances being unfortunate and unique, Michelle Waterson is maintaining a different kind of fight camp and her goal to keep fighting because as she puts it, that’s what fighters do.