Joanna Jedrzejczyk takes on Michelle Waterson in the main event of UFC on ESPN+19 on October 12, 2019 at the Amalie Arena in Florida.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the former UFC strawweight champion who is considered one of the greatest female fighters of all-time. Joanna is a former multiple time Muay Thai and kickboxing world champion who stormed to the UFC’s strawweight division, won the title, and defended the belt successfully five times. But after back to back losses to Rose Namajunas, Joanna’s career is on the line. She heads to this match as the MMA betting favorite against Michelle Waterson.
The Polish Jedrzejczyk is 32 years old and stands 5-6 with a reach of 65 ½ inches while fighting as an orthodox fighter. She has an MMA record of 15-3 with four knockouts and one submission win. Joanna is coming off a loss to Valentina Shevchenko in a flyweight bout but returns to strawweight for this contest. She has lost three out of her last four bouts, including her twin defeats to Thug Rose.
Joanna is a highly efficient striker who has superb accuracy and elite boxing skills. As a former kickboxer, she uses her legs and elbows better than most fighters out there. She has great technique and is like a machine when she is on her feet. She is also a good finisher and knows how to win fights.
Odds were taken from Betonline.ag as of 9/20/19
Michelle Waterson is the former Invicta FC atomweight champion and former #1 ranked atomweight fighter during the early parts of this decade. She moved to the UFC in 2016 and has campaigned at strawweight since then. Waterson also fought for Ring of Fire, KOTC and Strikeforce before she plied her trade at Invicta FC.
The Karate Hottie is 33 years old and she stands 5-3 with a reach of 62 inches. Waterson fights out of the orthodox stance and she is a freestyle karate black belt plus owns a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She has an MMA record of 17-6 with three knockouts and nine wins by way of submission. Waterson is on a three-fight winning streak with wins over Cortney Casey, Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Waterson is a very athletic fighter who isn’t just a karate expert but also has some kickboxing background. Leg kicks are a big part of here game and she is very quick on her feet. Her takedowns are also very good and she has a terrific submission game as well. One thing going against her in this fight though is her size as she gives up height and reach to one of the best strikers the fight game has ever seen.
After suffering back to back losses to Rose Namajunas and her most recent loss to Valentina Shevchenko, this is a must win fight for Joanna. Let’s forget about the Valentina loss because that was at flyweight and Joanna is fighting again at strawweight in this fight. Namajunas is no longer champion and that means a big win over the Karate Hottie could propel Joanna to the next title shot against newly crowned champion Zhang Weili.
For Waterson, it could be the same because a win over Joanna would mean four straight victories that would almost seal a title shot for the former Invicta FC atomweight champion. Waterson is already 33 years old and is dying for a shot at UFC gold. You bet she will go all out against Joanna.
Waterson is well-coached and she is a very smart fighter. She is a black belt in American freestyle karate and she is an excellent striker inside the octagon. Moreover, she is a solid wrestler who has a good submission game. However, Waterson may be in the fight of her life against arguably one of the greatest strikers to set foot in the UFC octagon.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is a six-time Muay Thai world champion and a former kickboxing world champion as well. She is known for her precise striking and accurate counter-attacks. Joanna is a strike machine who always finds a way to win. She uses a sprawl and brawl style while mixing head and body punches. Jedrzejczyk also has excellent high front kicks and uses her elbows and knees very well.
No question here that Michelle Waterson is one of the elite strikers in the UFC right now. But I think she is in trouble here because she is fighting one of fight sport’s all-time greats. Joanna Jedrzejczyk has lost three of four bouts but she did so against Rose Namajunas and Valentina Shevchenko, both UFC champions.
Joanna is one of the mot complete strikers the sport has ever seen. Her technical abilities are second to none. Her mastery of footwork and distance are second to none. This is going to be an exciting striking battle and I wouldn’t be surprised if Waterson tries to take this fight to the ground. But I think Joanna is too good on her feet here. It won’t be a walk in the park but the better fighter wins this. I’m picking Joanna to beat Michelle Waterson. Prediction: Joanna Jedrzejczyk