Meeting recap

Michelle Waterson – Mixed Martial Arts Champion

The UFC Mixed Martial Arts fighter and former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion, Michelle Waterson was the focus of this the October Damsels meet up. The meeting was kicked off with a rousing ice breaker game of Damsel Dodgeball followed by dinner.



Next, Maya led the group in a discussion about Michelle Waterson. The girls did research online prior to the meeting and Maya read a summary of her life and achievements before jumping into the discussion. She asked great questions – a mixture of trivia questions with numerical answers with the game Wits & Wagers as a prop and vehicle for discussion. In answering, the Damsels got to pair up and come up with their best guess, closest to the answer without going over the answer. Here are some highlights:

  • How many martial arts does Michelle fight with?  Answer: 5, Muy Thai kick boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu jitsu, American freestyle karate, and Wu shu.
  • How much did Michelle Waterson get paid for her fight with Paige VanZant? Answer: $30,000.

The follow up questions asked about pay disparity across gender that sparked an interesting discussion:

  • Did you know that one of the male fighters from that night made $320,000?  Is that fair? Some Damsels comments:
    • It’d be more fair that all fighters should make the same amount.
    • One Damsel argued that it wouldn’t be fair if amateurs and professionals earned the same pay because professionals have more experience and have put in more work.
    • Men have been fighting longer
    • Its scientifically proven that there is something in men’s bodies that makes them more muscular, but in history women live longer than men
  • What are the qualities you have in common with MW
    • We both do martial arts
    • We’re both funny
    • I like doing sports and I’m a girl
    • I know multiple martial arts, capoeira & boxing
    • I also like most sports
    • We are both changing the world
  • What do you get out of practicing martial arts?
    • I feel grounded and focused.  Someone asked even if you aren’t?  Maya said you can become grounded through practicing.

The Damsels identified with and admired Michelle Waterson’s strength, that she was funny, and that she took a loss, then persevered to win her next big fight.


After a bit of debate and a vote, the winning action this month is to take a self defense class together. One of the optional actions was to write Michelle and ask questions.

Maya closed the discussion with an exciting demo of a common martial arts form, WuBuQuan.

Lastly, the Damsels wound down the evening with what else, but more dodgeball, hula hooping, and enjoying each other’s company.