Known as ‘The Karate Hottie’, this 30-year-old was a model before pursuing her dreams in martial arts. A former Invicta FC champion, Michelle holds a perfect record since arriving in UFC®’s straw weight division. We caught up with Michelle when she was here for the UFC Fight Night® in Singapore in June, and this is what she says about being a MMA fighter, mama to her daughter, Araya, and what body confidence means to her.
“If I had not become a professional fighter, I’d still be doing something involving martial arts - be it teaching or doing stunt work or movies, as a martial artist.”
“I keep my daughter involved in my training and will make sure to let her know how much a part of it she is. Giving her a sense of ownership for my career allows her to be proud of me; she’s definitely a huge part of my journey.”
“When I’m training, I’m a hundred percent focused on training, and when I’m mummy, I’m a hundred percent focused on my daughter.”
“For a long time, I was embarrassed about my stretch marks, but I’ve learned to embrace them, because for me that was what I had to go through to grow this little human in my body, and I’m proud of that. They’re my battle wounds.”
“Being a MMA fighter is not easy for a woman. Your body changes, you’ll lose body fat, and your breast tissue, which will make them smaller. Your shoulders will get broader too, and you’ll pick up some bruises along the way. I do it because I love doing it, not just to look hot.”
“It’s important to send out a bodypositive image to the world, people need to look at the human body and nudity in a different way other than just sexually.”
“I’ve embraced my body and the things that it does for me, and I’m really at peace with who I am. That peace came after I giving birth to my daughter. I feel that I’ve gained an appreciation for the effort that I put in to get my body to where it needed to be.”