Michelle Waterson-Gomez experienced an emotional moment as she broke down in tears after the referee stopped her fight against Marina Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 79. The stoppage wasn’t controversial, as Waterson-Gomez had absorbed significant damage, sustaining cuts on her face while enduring a barrage of punches, elbows, and knees from Rodriguez throughout the fight. Despite the one-sided nature of the bout, Waterson expressed her frustration at not being able to continue.
Following the fight, Waterson-Gomez tearfully embraced UFC Hall of Famer Rashad Evans, who had been her teammate for many years when both trained under head coach Greg Jackson at his gym in New Mexico. Evans, serving as an analyst for the UFC Vegas 79 broadcast, later revealed what Waterson-Gomez had said to him as she left the octagon.
Waterson expressed her desire to continue fighting, despite the stoppage, telling Evans, “I didn’t want him to stop it. I wanted to come back. I know I could come back.”
Evans empathized with Waterson’s determination to continue, even though the stoppage was justified after Rodriguez dominated her for nearly two rounds. While there were moments in the first round where Rodriguez seemed on the verge of finishing the fight, Waterson-Gomez bravely weathered the onslaught. However, eventually, she could no longer withstand the punishment.
According to UFC statistics, Rodriguez significantly outstruck Waterson-Gomez, landing 90 total strikes compared to Waterson-Gomez’s 16. Waterson-Gomez also suffered multiple cuts, leading to blood streaming down her face due to the damage inflicted by Rodriguez during the contest.
The loss marked Waterson-Gomez’s fourth consecutive defeat and brought her UFC record to 1-6 in her last seven appearances. This challenging period in her career reflects her struggles to secure victories in recent fights.