The UFC’s #5-ranked strawweight Joanna Jedrzejczyk laces up her gloves to face the woman ranked #7 in the division this weekend, ‘The Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is in need of a big performance at the Amelie Arena, as the former 115-pound queen aims to bounce back from a run of three losses in her last four fights. The Polish fighter is the strong favourite with all of the best betting sites against her American opponent Michelle Waterson, who comes into the contest on the back of a three-fight winning streak.
Waterson to win via submission
The Karate Hottie has recovered from successive defeats to Rose Namajunas and Tecia Torres to put together her run of victories, which have all come via decision. The two most recent of those were unanimous on the judges’ cards, against Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Another win will put the Colorado native in contention for a title shot against new champion Zhang Weili, but she’ll need the performance of her career to do so. She’ll also need to utilise her wrestling skills and take this fight to the ground.
Jedrzejczyk to win via KO or TKO
Having said that, Jedrzejczyk has never been submitted in 18 professional bouts. However, the Pole has a superior striking game to Waterson, who will lose if she attempts to stand and trade punches. Rose Namajunas and Valentina Shevchenko were too good at picking off Jedrzejczyk in her three recent losses, but Waterson isn’t at their level. Jedrzejczyk’s striking dominance was a hallmark as she successfully defended the strawweight title five times between 2015 and 2017, including a unanimous decision victory against the recently dethroned Jessica Andrade.
Fight to finish inside the distance
Jedrzejczyk’s Muay Thai and kickboxing background means she heavily outranks Waterson – who is well-versed in karate – when it comes to the variety of her striking. That’s going to cause the American a lot of problems, particularly over five rounds. Waterson is tough and durable, but she’s never gone beyond 15 minutes in the UFC, and that could prove a major factor. With that in mind, a late knockout victory in the fourth or fifth round could offer some excellent value, considering Jedrzejczyk is such a heavy favourite in the outright market.
Jedrzejczyk to win via KO or TKO in round 5
Joanna Jedrzejczyk to win the fight
Don’t let her nickname fool you – Michelle Waterson is a tough cookie. Quick, agile and tenacious, she will put herself firmly in the title picture with a win this weekend. If she can take this fight to the ground then her wrestling and submissions will come into play. However, Joanna Jedrzejczyk has a far superior striking game and brings a huge amount of experience on the biggest stage into this fight. The Pole has never been submitted and her only three defeats in 18 MMA bouts have come against truly elite fighters in Rose Namajunas and Valentina Shevchenko. This fight is likely to go deep into the five rounds, but Jedrzejczyk possesses the tools to take the win.
John Abrams is a passionate sports fanatic who follows NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAAF, NCAAB and Formula 1. A former sports trader, John has an unquestioned thirst for sports knowledge and often fills his time playing fantasy or placing wagers online.
All Predictions by John Abrams