#5 Strawweight Joanna Jedrzejczyk (aka Joanna champ) and #7 ranked Michelle Waterson (aka ‘Karate Hottie’) are set to headline this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night in Tampa, Florida. The location will give the former champ a small edge in home turf, however the former champ will have her hands full with the kicks of Waterson. Let’s get into it.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s Path to Victory
The mystique of Joanna’s dominance has been starting to fade as fan’s question a three fight skid. Don’t let the record fool you though; hand speed and strength does not go away overnight. The Poland striker rarely goes to the ground with an 80% takedown defense. Her accuracy is also a crisp 66% in the UFC. Both huge problems for Waterson. The real question is where is Joanna’s head at? Will she let the recent defeats define her, or will she show the unbreakable belief of dominance? I’d bet the ladder if you listen to her interviews. It’s to a fault as fans have not agreed with what they consider ‘excuses’ of blaming a bad weight cut or a bad judging in her losses against Thug Rose.
Michelle Waterson’s Path to Victory
A fellow veteran in the sport, Waterson has put together a nice three fight win streak against top 10 opponents since losing to former champ Thug Rose. The only knock is they’ve all been decisions. This is likely to the fact that she is not known for her knockout power. Waterson’s proven to be dangerous on the ground, but she will have a tough time getting it there with Joanna. Another big factor is Waterson’s grit. She is as durable as they come and can go all five rounds if needed. The problem is her power strikes come from a karate background that can slow in the later rounds. Keeping to the outside and picking Joanna apart is going to be her path to victory here.
Waterson vs. Joanna Prediction
As much as I enjoy Waterson’s display of heart, I see Joanna pulling away in points in the later rounds. I see the level of striking and cardio of Joanna will be too much for Michelle. Karate Hottie will be able to stick it out, but I hope it’s not at the cost of her longevity in the sport. Unanimous decision, Joanna.