ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Every year since 2009 ESPN The Magazine has had its body issue, which features athletes from multiple sports posing nude or semi-nude in photos. This year’s issue will feature Albuquerque based MMA Fighter, Michelle Waterson.
“I still feel that it is unreal. I don’t know. It’s weird, like, it hasn’t hit me yet that I made the cover of ESPN The Body Issue. I was blown away, it really does embody everything that I am and they did it in such a professional manner and really highlighted all of the muscular features of me as a fighter, of me as a mother, of me as a woman, as a martial artist. It embodies all of that and I love it,” said MMA Fighter Michelle Waterson.
The Jackson Wink trained fighter took the photos for this ESPN spread just two weeks after her UFC loss in April. She still had swollen eyes, bumps, and bruises but that was the least of her worries on location in Farmington, New Mexico.
“As we were driving out there it starts to snow, and I am like, ‘Oh this is going to be crazy’ and I hate the cold anyways. They were getting me ready and were just like, ‘We have one day to shoot this, so it’s now or never,’” said Waterson.
The Body Issue will hit newsstands on July 8, and Waterson says that she couldn’t have made it on one of these covers without the love and support of her family. This will be a big boost to Waterson’s popularity, but she was most happy to get a message across to the fans.
“I think it’s important to send out positive body image to the world, and for people to look at the human body and nudity in a different way, other than sexual. The human body is an amazing machine and you can basically get it to do whatever you want it to do,” said Waterson.