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Amanda Lemos: ‘I want to show my evolution’ vs. former training partner Michelle Waterson

Amanda Lemos is expected to take on Michelle Waterson on July 16.

Amanda Lemos lost to Jessica Andrade in April 2022.
Amanda Lemos lost to Jessica Andrade in April 2022.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC strawweight contender Amanda Lemos will share the Octagon with a familiar face in her next outing. Paired up against former training partner Michelle Waterson, the Brazilian intends to show the ‘Karate Hottie’ how much she has evolved since the times they sparred together.

In an interview with Combate, Lemos praised Waterson’s skills, while also pointing out that the last time the pair trained together was five years ago. Since then, Amanda says her skills have become much sharper and she intends to show it in the Octagon next Saturday.

“I remember the times we trained together very well, but it’s been five years now,” Lemos said. “I’m only speaking for myself now, but I’ve evolved a lot since then. I’m sure she has, too. We’re going to deliver a great fight. I want to show my evolution, not only on the feet, but on the floor, too. I haven’t been able to show it yet, but it might happen next Saturday. Michelle is seasoned. She has fought lots of tough fighters, it’s no wonder she’s in the top 10. She’s a karate fighter, but I think she’s well-rounded. She works well on top and on the bottom. I’m really ready for her though. Both for her karate and her grappling.”

In her last outing, Lemos got quickly submitted by former champion Jessica Andrade, in a loss that snapped a five-fight streak for Amanda. Frustrating as the defeat was, the Brazilian guarantees the result only made her more motivated to bounce back and score an important win against Waterson.

“I was on a five-fight win streak, it was nice,” Lemos said. “ I had trained really hard for Jessica, I was really focused, but a fight is a fight. There’s nothing you can do, that was her night. She caught me. I didn’t expect her to do it so quickly, but that’s what happened. It only made me more motivated, it made me want to train more, focus more.”

Before the loss to Andrade, Lemos (11-2-1) had wins over Angela Hill, Montserrat Ruiz, Livia Renata Souza, Mizuki Inoue and Miranda Granger. Three of those wins came by way of knockout or submission.

Now, Lemos is expected to take on Waterson at UFC Long Island, in Elmont, New York, on July 16. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a featherweight bout between contenders Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez.