Michelle Waterson-Gomez “Appreciating Things a Lot More” In Advance of UFC 303

Las Vegas — Once considered a strawweight contender, and a former Invicta FC atomweight champ, Michelle Waterson-Gomez heads into UFC 303 badly in need of a win.

“The Karate Hottie,” who noted on Wednesday that “you either evolve with the sport, or get left behind in the dust,” has lost four straight. Perhaps that is why the popular Jackson-Wink MMA fighter appears to be living in the moment ahead of her fight with Gillian Robertson this Saturday.

“This is very special. Every fight is very special. I don’t know, I just feel, it might be that I’m getting older, I’m just appreciating things a lot more. Trying to slow things down,” Waterson-Gomez (18-12) explained during this week’s UFC 303 media day. “Sometimes you get wrapped up in all of this, the nerves take over, you don’t pay attention to what’s really important. And I think that I’ve just been having an amazing time just slowing things down and taking it all in, and appreciating this blessed life that I get to live.”

After being stopped by Marina Rodriguez in her last fight, Waterson-Gomez admits that she was being a bit of a sore loser in the hospital after. At least before realizing how, as a pro fighter, she was in much better shape than heart attack suffers, gunshot victims, and other denizens of that same E.R. That, and Bryce Mitchell joking that her fight was stopped because she’s pretty while his was allowed to go long because he’s ugly, snapped her out of her funk.

“The truth is, 18+ years, I know in my heart I’m a fighter, I’m a warrior,” Waterson-Gomez later stated. “I come out here, I train my butt off.”

There’s a big upside with that training, the 38-year old added. “I have the ability to train with my husband, I have the ability to do a lot of cool things with my daughter. We’ve been able to travel the world, see so many amazing things, and I wouldn’t be able to do it if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing right now.”

On her match-up with former flyweight Robertson, Waterson-Gomez stated that “I think Gillian’s up-and-coming, I think she hit her stride moving to a different gym. I think that she realized that 25 wasn’t the right division for her; she moved down. I don’t think she’s necessarily a big 15’er.”

Having fought the best of the best, excluding champ Weili Zhang, added Waterson-Gomez, “I just think this is another opportunity for me to fight somebody who’s up-and-coming, who’s chomping at the bit, who’s hungry, and who has a great skillset.”

Watch the full UFC 303 media day appearance by Michelle Waterson-Gomez above.