ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Michelle Waterson said it’s been more than four fights where she had to battle without an audience, due to COVID. That will change when she squares off against Amanda Lemos on a UFC fight card in New York on July 16.

“I’m really looking forward to having a crowd and pulling off their energy inside the octagon, said Waterson. Waterson, a Jackson and Wink Academy fighter, knows a few things about her next opponent. “She actually use to train here,” said Waterson. “She’s real nice, heavy hitter likes to throw hard. “Our careers have both had such a different trajectory since then. So, it just kind of comes with the territory. It’s such a small world when you get into the top of the division, you’re going to end up fighting pretty much everybody that you know.”

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Waterson is 18-9 in the octagon while her opponent is 11-2-1. Waterson has had time away from the octagon and is fully recovered from an undisclosed career-threatening injury. During her time away Waterson spent some time in Wales filming a movie. Fight fans can see her play a villain in an upcoming movie on Netflix called “Havoc”.

“They completely transformed me and gave me this really cool character and so I really enjoyed being able to step inside the shoes of somebody else who is completely opposite of who I am in real life and play it to its fullest,” said Waterson.

While she enjoys making movies, Waterson also believes she has plenty of fights left in her. She loves how each challenge in the octagon pushes her to get more out of herself. Waterson feels the same way about making movies.

“With the film, it’s also something that is outside of my comfort zone that I enjoy doing that pushes me to my limit, that forces me to face my fears and still allows me to be within that martial arts realm,” said Waterson. “So, I would absolutely love to continue to do films in the future,” Waterson said she will keep going to auditions to try and land a part in another movie.