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UFC on ESPN+ 19: Joanna Jedrzejczyk overcomes Michelle Waterson’s grit

Former champion breaks foot in entertaining striking display in Tampa Bay

It was predictable. In the main event of Tampa Bay’s UFC on ESPN+ 19, Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-3-0) used her size and striking skills to stifle the attack of former Invicta champion Michelle Waterson (17-7-0).

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1183238738710654977?s=20

Jedrzejczyk, who had a size and weight advantage, peppered Waterson with many of her trademark kicks and strikes to pile ip the points, avoiding the threat of Waterson’s takedowns and using the clinch to keep Waterson within her attacking range.

“JJ” landed over 200 strikes and broke her foot at the end of the second round, according to her post-fight interview. Yet she plowed on, landing a takedown late in the fight for good measure.

Waterson did not back down, however. She tried to play Joanna’s game, using knees and strikes but ultimately was worn down after the first two rounds and reduced to enduring Jedrzejczyk’s attacks. She landed takedowns in the third and final rounds that almost led to a rear-naked choke finish, but Jedrzejczyk survived each time.

The judges scored it 50-45, 50-45, and 49-46.

With the win, Jedrzejczyk earned her second consecutive win in the division, sandwiched around a loss to 135 pound champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 231 in December 2018.

Waterson’s three fight win streak ended in Tampa Bay.

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1183227919209910273?s=20

Cub Swanson and Kron Gracie earned Fight of the Night, while Niko Price and Marlon Vera earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.

In case you missed the prelims:

J.J. ALDRICH DEF. LAUREN MUELLERVIA UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

MARVIN VETTORI DEF. ANDREW SANCHEZ VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

MIGUEL BAEZA DEF. HECTOR ALDANA VIA TKO (LEG KICKS AND ELBOWS) R2 2:32

MARLON VERA DEF. ANDRE EWELL VIA TKO (ELBOWS AND PUNCHES) R3 3:17

DEIVESON FIGUEIREDO DEF. TIM ELLIOTT VIA SUBMISSION (GUILLOTINE CHOKE) R1 3:08

ALEX MORONO DEF. MAX GRIFFIN VIA UD (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)

MIKE DAVIS DEF. THOMAS GIFFORD VIA KO (PUNCH) R3 4:45

RYAN SPANN DEF. DEVIN CLARK VIA SUBMISSION (GULLOTINE CHOKE) R2 2:01

MAIN CARD

ERYK ANDERS VS. GERALD MEERSCHAERT 

WINNER: ERYK ANDERS VIA SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: GERALD MEESCHAERT VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Gerald couldn’t get the fight to the ground and hurt Anders too late in the final round.  That was the big factor for Eryk. Good win.

MATT FREVOLA VS. LUIS PENA 

WINNER: MATT FREVOLA VIA SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: LUIS PENA VIA TKO

Andrews: Close fight, but Pena could not secure a finish.

MACKENZIE DERN VS. AMANDA RIBAS 

WINNER: AMANDA RIBAS VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MACKENZIE DERN VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: I thought Dern would get the fight to the ground eventually, but the striking of Ribas pretty much shut her down. Perhaps Dern came back too quick from the pregnancy, but give full credit to Amanda.

NIKO PRICE VS. JAMES VICK 

WINNER: NIKO PRICE VIA TKO(UPKICK) R1 1:44

ANDREWS PREDICTION: NIKO PRICE VIA TKO

Andrews: Wow! Price upkicks for the highlight reel win. Vick is on the bubble that Dana White is about to pop.

CUB SWANSON VS. KRON GRACIE

WINNER: CUB SWANSON VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: KRON GRACIE VIA SUBMISSION 

Andrews: Swanson kept the fight on the feet for the most part and give credit to Gracie for trying to finish it there. Good fight.

MAIN EVENT

JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK VS. MICHELLE WATERSON 

WINNER: JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK VIA UD (50-45, 50-45 49-46)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK VIA UD

Andrews: Waterson, who is too small for the division, gave it her best and almost won with the choke, but JJ overcame. Good fight.

@kenaiandrews

Categories
ExtrafeaturenewsUFC

Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.
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