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Holly Holm writes heartfelt tribute to retiring Michelle Waterson, Waterson responds

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon07 July 2024

In a touching Instagram post, former UFC champion Holly Holm honored her longtime friend and fellow MMA fighter Michelle Waterson, who recently announced her retirement from the sport. Holm's message celebrated Waterson's illustrious career and their deep friendship, highlighting the profound impact Waterson has had on her and the wider MMA community.

"This sport has brought me one of my greatest friends in life," Holm began her heartfelt tribute. "Michelle, you are a champion both in and out of the arena. You have a determination and fierceness about you that is contagious to everyone. You stand on your beliefs and embrace the true YOU. You are an example of a loving mother, devoted wife, selfless teammate, and loyal friend. You are 1 of 1. There is no one like you."

Holm praised Waterson's resilience and grace, both in moments of triumph and adversity. "In the highs of your life you’ve always stayed grounded, and in the times that were tough, you always handled it with grace," she wrote. "This sport is entertaining and so intriguing because of the unknown. It’s being fully vulnerable yet having the courage to face it with confidence. You are a warrior, a badass, a spark plug that ignites any room you’re in."

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Holm expressed gratitude for the opportunity to share in Waterson's journey, noting that Waterson's passion and skill have inspired many. "Thank you for sharing your passion and life with the world. I’m one of the lucky ones that also gets to know you behind the scenes. Not only are you my teammate and friend but my sister," Holm continued. "I’m so proud of everything you’ve accomplished in your career. Fighting the top 10 fighters in the world for nearly a decade. Letting people feel a piece of greatness through your skill and heart, giving so many inspiration."

Reflecting on their time together, Holm shared a humorous yet heartfelt memory. "I’m even proud of the black eyes you’ve given from kicking me in the face. And I look forward to training with you still, because a true martial artist will always have this fire in their blood. I love you!"

Waterson, clearly moved by Holm's words, responded with an emotional message of her own. "I truly don’t know where I would be without you. Love you sooo much. Thank you for being my inspiration. Your fire drove my fire."

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