Michelle Waterson reacts following disappointing loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Michelle Waterson
Image: UFC on Instagram

Michelle Waterson squared off with former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the headliner of tonight’s UFC Tampa event.

The fight had high stakes, with the winner being expected to serve as the first challenger to newly crowned UFC strawweight champion Weili Zhang.

Michelle Waterson (17-7 MMA) entered tonight’s UFC Tampa headliner on a three-fight win streak, her latest being a unanimous decision victory over former division title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

Meanwhile, Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-3 MMA) was looking to silence her doubters in this evenings main event. The former champion had gone just 1-4 over her past 5 Octagon appearances in the lead up to tonight’s fight.

In her most previous effort, the Polish star suffered a unanimous decision loss to Valentina Shevchenko in a bout for the promotions women’s flyweight title.

For Michelle Waterson, a win at UFC Tampa would result in her dream opportunity of becoming the first “Mom champion” in UFC history.

Unfortunately for ‘The Karate Hottie’ her championship aspirations hit a wall this evening in the form of Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

The former champion was able to put on a striking clinic against Michelle Waterson, battering the former Invicta Atomweight Champion with leg kicks and punches.

After twenty-five minutes of action, it was clear that Joanna had done enough to earn a unanimous decision victory, which she was ultimately awarded from the judges in attendance.

It was a heartbreaking loss for Michelle Waterson, who was just one fight away from her dream of fighting for UFC gold.

‘The Karate Hottie’ spoke about the loss in the her post-fight interview.

“My intention wasn’t to come in here tonight and absorb a lot of damage. My intention was to win,” said an emotional Waterson. “And I am disappointed in myself but that’s the name of the game and you have to keep chugging forward. Like I said before, it was an honor to share the Octagon with Joanna. It was a huge mental feat to be able to stay focused all through fight camp and like I said it was an honor to share the Octagon with Joanna. It was never my intention to take damage. My intention was to win. I will go back to the drawing board and figure out.. I know what I did wrong. You know I was reaching for the shots, instead of setting them up. Then I was getting stuck up against the cage and caught, instead of getting off the cage I was being stubborn and trying to fight through it. So, you know, lesson learned and I’ll come back stronger.”

Who would you like to see Michelle Waterson fight next following her loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk at tonight’s UFC Tampa event? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com October 12, 2019