WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT MICHELLE WATERSON
First of all, it is great to see "The Karate Hottie" coming back to fight inside the UFC Octagon after her last bout against Angela "Your Majesty" Magana (11-8) during TUF 21 Finale back in June 2015.
But if we are going to back up a little further, Waterson started training karate at the young age of 10 years old. She has been on TV shows like Bully Beatdown on MTV/MTV 2 and Fight Girls on the Oxygen Channel as she was being taught by the one and only Master Toddy.
Also has a background in modeling which clearly makes all the sense to how she came up with "The Karate Hottie".
Michelle's MMA debut came to light in 2007 when she fought at Ring of Fire then a year later ended up making her debut into Strikeforce.
Even though Waterson seemed to get her face more known through her skills she managed to get engaged and give birth to her first child in 2011.
A year after in 2012 nothing was stopping her as she fought her debut in Invicta FC 3 against Lacey "The Ladie" Schuckman (11-9) where she dominated.
To no surprise during that time she finally got her chance to fight for the Atomweight Championship Belt against Jessica Penne (12-4) at Invicta FC 5.
Michelle ended up getting her hand raised that night after the bout and made history. Since then she defended her belt twice but then lost it to Hérica Tibúrcio (10-4) in the third round.
In 2015, after moving up to 115 lbs to fight inside the UFC, Michelle suffered from a knee injury after her bout against Magana.
She was scheduled to fight Tecia "The Tiny Tornado" Torres (7-1) at UFC 194 once Waterson got heeled. Unfortunately, a hand injury occurred during training and Michelle had to drop out of the fight.
As of right now, she is completely heeling and ready to fight. Knowing the history of Michelle Waterson and how she will be headlining on the main card for the first time is fantastic and VERY well deserved.
As she gained a black belt in karate and a blue belt in BJJ, Waterson can cause a threat to any woman fighter in the strawweight division.
and let's not forget her 8 wins by submission, first-round finishes, and the 7 win fight streak.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT PAIGE VANZANT
It is to no surprise the skills Paige "12 Gauge" VanZant has outside of the cage as she has been dancing for over 13 years.
One magic day she accidentally came across Ken Shamrock's gym and began training from there. At the age of 18 she made her MMA debut at UWF - Tournament of Warriors and in 2013 she fought against Tecia Torres (7-1) at Invicta FC 4 but lost to a unanimous decision.
Surprisingly, not that long after she was recruited into the UFC.
Even though during that time TUF 24 showcased women in 2014 for the first time, Paige was supposed to be a part of that cast however, she wasn't old enough so had to take other alternatives.
VanZant was supposed to make her UFC debut the same year against Kailin Curran (4-4) but it was rescheduled because of an unexpected knee injury. Once the fight was officially back on and Paige ran through Kailin easily with a TKO during round three.
She was running through all the strawweight with a crazy win streak until she met face to face against "Thug" Rose Namajuñes (6-3) at UFC Fight Night 80 in 2015.
Although it seemed she gave it her all during that fight, it just wasn't enough to handle the very skilled Namajuñes.
After that loss she found herself getting a great opportunity to compete on Fox TV's Dancing with the Stars.
She did an amazing job as she came in 2nd place overall with her team partner. After gaining major exposure VanZant came back to fight in the UFC against Bec "Rowdy" Rawlings (7-5) since then.
There were a great number of people doubting she would come back the same fighter because of being out of the cage for a hot while, however, Paige came back TOUGH and STRONG.
No one expected her to get a TKO win over Rawlings, but she did.
SO WHAT DO I THINK ABOUT ALL OF THIS??
This is going to be a very interesting fight because BOTH of these women are very talented in their craft. In a way, it is kind of like taking the old with the new, but I really don't want to think of Waterson as old.
The girl just had to take some time to get over some injuries so if you are really a true fan, her face will always be one to recognize in the strawweight division.
As Waterson mostly focuses on using her karate, BJJ, boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, and even some surprise WUSHU (we can only which, Paige seems to be very well-rounded herself. "The Karate Hottie" is a very technical fighter, while "12 Gauge" can seem to fight with that dirty boxing style because she's a scrapper.
One thing they have in common though is the heart and I know without a doubt they are both going to be giving it their all in there.
Mostly because this is the first time for any of them to headline their own UFC card which is awesome.
Paige tends to have very aggressive attacks and usually fights from a distance. But if her opponent closes in with a clinch she fights from the inside as she closes the distance. For Waterson, no matter what position her opponent puts her in she knows how to get out of.
Both of these women are strong in all sense of the word and IF I really had to choose one to come out on top I could totally see Waterson getting back in the groove of things during this fight to win.
Meanwhile, Paige has a victorious amount of dedication as we have seen how she deals with being out of the cage and not fighting for a while.
This is going to be a historic fight and it will take place live on December 17, 2016, in Sacramento CA at the Golden 1 Center on Fox Sports 1.
See you there.