Tonight’s UFC Tampa event is headlined by a key women’s strawweight battle featuring former division title holder Joanna Jedrzejczyk taking on Michelle Waterson.
The winner of tonight’s headliner will likely be next in line for a shot at Weili Zhang’s UFC strawweight title.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-3 MMA) was most recently seen in action at December’s UFC 231 event where she suffered a unanimous decision loss to Valentina Shevchenko in a fight for the promotions flyweight title.
The Polish star has gone just 1-3 over her past four Octagon appearances, with her lone win in that time coming against Tecia Torres by decision.
Meanwhile, Michelle Waterson (17-6 MMA) will enter UFC Tampa on a three-fight win streak. In her latest effort at March’s UFC event in Philadelphia, ‘The Karate Hottie’ scored a unanimous decision victory over former division title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Round one begins and Waterson misses with a front kick. Joanna comes forward but eats a low kick. She responds with one of her own. Waterson with another high kick, she shoots in for a takedown. It is not there but she unloads a couple of punches and then they clinch. Michelle Waterson has Joanna Jedrzejczyk pressed against the cage. The former champ lands a knee. Waterson fires off an elbow and breaks free. ‘The Karate Hottie’ with a low kick. Joanna returns fire with one of her own. Joanna with a good low kick followed by a crisp right hand. Michelle shoots in for a takedown and presses Joanna against the cage. Jedrzejczyk with a pair of nice knees and then switches the position. Joanna with an elbow and then a knee. Waterson tries to break free and eventually reverses the position. Joanna takes it right back and lands an elbow. One minute remains in round one. Joanna with a knee and then a right hand over the top. More knees from Joanna. Michelle Waterson needs to gets off the cage. She lands a knee but then eats an elbow from Joanna Jedrzejczyk. More knees from the former champion. She switches to elbows. Michelle looks to scramble but gives up her back. The horn sounds to end round one.
Round two of the UFC Tampa main event begins and Joanna lands a low kick and then a kick to the body. More kicks from the former champion. Waterson leaps in with a right that falls short. Three more kicks from Joanna. Michelle answers with one of her own but then eats three more. Waterson leaps in and lands a good right. She eats a low kick but then answers with one to the body. Joanna with a jab and Michelle just misses her with a front kick. Jedrzejczyk with a low kick. Waterson answers with a high kick that partially connects. Joanna Jedrzejczyk comes forward and forces the clinch. Michelle Waterson presses her up against the cage. She lands a right hand and then an elbow on the break. Waterson just misses with a high kick. Joanna answers with a combination. Waterson shoots in for a takedown. She doesn’t get it but once again has the Polish fighter forced up against the cage. Joanna reverses the position and lands a knee. More knees from Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Michelle Waterson finally breaks free and lands a low kick. Joanna answers with a front kick to the face. Waterson is bleeding out of her nose now. Joanna hits her with a combination. She is starting to let go now. Round two comes to an end.
— UFC (@ufc) October 13, 2019
Round three of the UFC Tampa headliner begins and Joanna Jedrzejczyk immediately opens up with low kicks. Waterson misses with a front kick and Joanna tags her with another pair of low kicks. Waterson is trying to find a way inside, but Joanna just continues to pepper her with low kicks as she comes forward. Waterson lands a side kick. Joanna responds with a flurry of kicks. Waterson with a jab. Jedrzejczyk replies with a low kick. Three minutes remain in the round. Waterson shoots in but Joanna takes her back and trips her to the floor. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is looking for a d’arce choke. Michelle Waterson escapes and gets back to her feet. Two minutes remain in the round. Joanna lands a low kick and then a jab. She goes upstairs with a head kick that misses. Jedrzejczyk with a low kick and then another shot to the body. Waterson shoots in and scores a takedown. She immediately takes the back and locks in a rear-naked choke. Joanna is doing a good job of defending. Twenty seconds remain. Waterson is still on Joanna’s back but has to let it go. Jedrzejczyk fires off a combination. Round three comes to an end.
— UFC (@ufc) October 13, 2019
Round four begins and Jedrzejczyk once again starts off the round by landing a number of kicks. A jab and a low kick connect for the former champ. Michelle forces the clinch. Joanna breaks free and lands a low kick. She just misses landing a front kick to the face of ‘The Karate Hottie’. Still, she follows that up with a right hand that lands flush. Another good low kick from Joanna followed by a knee. Michelle charges forward with a jab followed by a side kick. She misses with a pair of high kicks and Joanna makes her pay with a chopping low kick. Another side kick from Waterson. She circles out. Joanna comes forward and lands a front kick to the body. The Polish star is on point tonight. She lands another low kick and then a high kick to the should of Michelle Waterson. Joanna Jedrzejczyk with another kick. Michelle shoots in and looks for the takedown. It is not there. She throws an elbow that partially connects. Waterson gives up her back and it is Joanna that scores a takedown now. Waterson is right back up but eats an elbow for her troubles. Joanna with good body shots now. She switches to knees. Michelle lives to see round five.
Round five of the UFC Tampa main proved to be much of the same. Waterson was briefly able to take Joanna’s back in in the third minute of the round, but the Polish fighter would eventually break free and continue her striking assault. After twenty-five minutes of action we went to the judges scorecards for decision.
Official UFC Tampa Result: Joanna Jedrzejczyk def. Michelle Waterson by unanimous decision
Who would you like to see Joanna Jedrzejczyk fight next following her decision victory over Michelle Waterson at tonight’s UFC Tampa event? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com October 12, 2019