Gorgeous UFC star swapped Hooters and swimsuit modelling for fighting career

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    Michelle Waterson-Gomez is set to return to the Octagon this weekend when she faces off against Marina Rodriguez at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

    But before making a living as a UFC fighter, the 'Karate Hottie' had a much different job. In the past, the MMA star worked at a Hooters bar, as well as working as a swimsuit model.

    And it was in fact during a Hooters calendar shoot that led to her reciving the nickname the 'Karate Hottie', a name she has used since becoming a professional fighter back in 2007. Speaking to ESPN in 2019, Waterson-Gomez said: "If people are going to tune in because my fight name is the Karate Hottie or because I used to work at Hooters, then so be it.

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    She continued: "I just need your eyes to watch, and once you see that I am a true martial artist, then I'll change your mind about how you view me." The 37-year-old comes into her bout against Rodriguez on a three fight losing streak, having lost to Brazilian fighter Luana Pinheiro back in April at UFC 287.

    Waterson-Gomez and Rodriguez have fought before too in the past, with the pair facing off back in May 2021 at UFC Vegas 26. However, on that occasion, Waterson-Gomez fell as the hands of Rodriguez, who won via a unanimous decision.

    What do you make of Michelle Waterson-Gomez's career change? Let us know in the comments section below.

    And while the 'Karate Hottie' is also on a losing streak right now, so is Rodriguez for the first time in her career. The 36-year-old Brazilian had not lost a fight up until 2020 when she fell to Carla Esparza at UFC Fight Island 3.

    While she bounced back with four consecutive wins following her defeat to Esparza, one of which came against Waterson-Gomez, she lost to Amanda Lemos at UFC Fight Night 214, before following that up with another loss earlier this year, this time to compatriot Virna Jandiroba.

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    Which means both fighters will be looking to get back to winning ways in Las Vegas for what should be an exciting evening inside the Octagon.

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