Hooters calendar shoot gave UFC star Michelle Waterson her iconic nickname

UFC star Michelle Waterson gained her infamous 'Karate Hottie' nickname from a saucy calendar shoot with Hooters.

Before Waterson was establishing herself as one of the most dangerous women in the atomweight and flyweight divisions, the 34-year-old was serving tables and drinks at controversial restaurant chain Hooters. While Waterman's stock has unfortunately dropped over the last few years after frustrating defeats to Marina Rodriguez, Carla Esparza and Joanne Jedrzejczyk, the former Atomweight No.1's nickname continues to linger in the minds of MMA fans.

Her nickname could soon be called out in victory once more when she takes on Amanda Lemos at UFC Fight Night in New York on Saturday, July 16. And the audience may all be very surprised to hear her 'Karate Hottie' persona was coined during a calendar shoot for Hooters.

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"I tried out for the Hooters calendar," Waterman said to the Oral Sessions podcast. "I went on location to shoot for the calendar. [It was in the] Virgin Islands. It was the coolest thing.

"We were in the Virgin Islands, I met a guy named Howie and he owned a company called Bikini.com. He got talking to me and found out that I did Karate.

"He was like 'I would love to feature you on my website' and on his website he featured different girls each month. He was like 'we can theme you the Karate Hottie and we can do bikini shots and karate shots and it will be awesome'.

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"And it stuck. My first promoter asked me my fight name and I said no. He then Googled me and that's what popped up.”

'Howie' may very well pour a whiskey and light a cigar in appreciation to the Karate Hottie and, most importantly, his sudden intuition to come up with the nickname. The title certainly rolls of the tongue and no one would blame him if he never squanders an opportunity to tell any poor soul within his vicinity that he helped coin the nickname.

Of course, he will likely be hoping for a comfortable victory for Waterson, who will take on Amanda Lemos in the Octagon. Waterson is yet to fight in the UFC this year, and has not pulled on the MMA Gloves since her frustrating defeat to Rodrigues in May last year.

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