Joanna Jedrzejczyk defeated Michelle Waterson at the UFC Tampa and reached one step closer to getting back the strawweight belt in her possession. The Polish fighter won this one via unanimous decision, and we have to say, she fully deserved it.
Despite breaking her foot in the second round, she was confident and didn’t allow any opportunities for the rival to create some upset. Jedrzejczyk (16-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) stated following the match that her physical condition is at a very high level and that she could have endured five more rounds following this contest.
“I feel like I could do five more rounds,” she said. “I fought with a broken foot since the end of the second round, beginning of the third. It was hard.”
The judges gave the absolute advantage to Jedrzejczyk, 50-45, 50-45, 49-46.
That fight yesterday was brutal.. between Michelle Waterson and Joanna Jedrzejczyk..finally Joanna won..very inspiring speech from her #JoannaJedrzejczyk #JoannaVsWaterson #UFC #UFCTampa pic.twitter.com/vTQAAzZA85
— Tintin Biswas 🇮🇳 – How Dare You ? 😉 (@BiswasTintin) October 13, 2019
She was dominant in the standup, posting one of the best ever performances in the history of this category. Waterson (17-6 MMA, 5-2 UFC) received 180 significant strikes, and that was obvious when the fight ended, as her face was all swollen and bloody. Jedrzejczyk managed to hurt the American already in the first round, breaking her nose with an elbow hit. It was apparent in those moments that the former Invicta champion isn’t going to have a pleasant night at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
Waterson, or Karate Hottie as the fans like to call her, couldn’t reach her rival in order to take her down. She managed to do that only once in nine attempts. That takedown came in the third, and it was the closest situation in which the American might have some chance to turn the tide into her favor. However, she failed to set up a choke, and Jedrzejczyk escaped from that position.
Her equipment was all red following the fight, from all the blood she lost after receiving a huge amount of punches. At the press conference, she stated that impatience was her biggest problem in this fight. Waterson admitted that her takedown attempts weren’t properly set and that instead of creating a position for them, she rushed into bad situations. It is why, eventually, her opponent got away with a win.
“I think the biggest thing was I was impatient,” Waterson said. “We had 25 minutes to get it done. I was comfortable on the outside, and I should have stayed there a little bit longer for her to give me the takedown.”
This was her first loss after three straight victories and a massive blow for Waterson, who was consoled by Holly Holm after the fight.
“She just said she knew it wasn’t outcome that I wanted.”
Meanwhile, Jedrzejczyk was celebrating big time and was calling out Dana White to set her another chance at the title.
“Hell, yeah,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Who is the real queen? Bow down, bow down. I’m the real queen. [UFC president] Dana [White], call you in a minute.”
It’s no secret that the former strawweight champ wants another shot at the title. After losing the belt against Rose Namajunas and not regaining the same in the rematch, she decided to switch divisions. Her quest to take the flyweight title was not successful, due to a loss via unanimous decision by Valentina Shevchenko.
But after seeing that she isn’t ready yet for such an adventure, she came back to her territory. Jedrzejczyk is one of the most dominant UFC fighters ever, and her five title defenses in strawweight division were the second-most in the female competition.
The decision for the next step is up to Dana White now, and the way things stand, it would be logical to see Jedrzejczyk against the Chinese champion. The only question is where and when.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.