UFC Fight Night: 161 | Squared Up: Waterson vs Jedrzejczyk Predictions & Analysis

Jason Paglia

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 6:38 AM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 6:38 AM UTC

This week the women’s strawweight division takes center stage when Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson squares up against Joanna Jedrzejczyk

<p>The UFC is back in the United States as they make their way to the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida for UFC Fight Night: 161. They have been on an international trip the last few weekends but it’s back to business in the USA. Last weekend we saw a phenomenal main and co-main event and managed to get the chicken in both fights. This week the women’s strawweight division takes center stage when Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson squares up against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Both of these women are top 10 strawweights in the division and should put on a really entertaining fight. Is this Adesanya / Whittaker? No, its not. However, these are world class women who should walk in the cage and bang from the door, and I can’t wait to watch it. Let’s keep it rolling. Let’s get after it!</p><div><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>MICHELLE WATERSON (17-6</strong><strong>) vs JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK (15-3)</strong></h2><div style="text-align:center"><strong><img alt src="https://img.maximummedia.ie/sportsjoe_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/1046798678-594x594.jpg" style="width:700px;height:393px" /></strong></div><h2 style="text-align:center"><b>Michelle Waterson</b></h2><div><p>Born and raised in Colorado Springs and Aurora, Colorado, Waterson began training in the practice of Karate from the age of 10. After gaining a black bet in Karate she turned her focus on the practices of Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Feeling confident in her skills, she became a professional mixed martial artist without taking a single amateur fight.</p><p>In 2007 she turned pro and began fighting on the regional scene. After winning 9 of the first 12 fights she competed in, she signed with one of the biggest regional promotions in the states in Invicta FC. At Invicta FC 3 Waterson fought Lacey Schuckman and won a close fight vis split decision. She would win 3 of her 4 Invicta FC fights bringing her record to (12-4) when she signed an MMA contract to the biggest MMA promotion in the world. She debuted with the UFC at one of the Ultimate Fighter Finales against Angela Magana. She went on to win that fight via submission, and she has been with the UFC ever since. Since joining the UFC she is 5-2 inside the promotion and will step into the cage Saturday night as the #7 ranked strawweight in the world. Can she beat the former champion? Below is a look at Waterson, by the numbers.</p><h2><strong><u>― STATS ―</u></strong></h2><p>•<strong>Method of Victory •Significant Strikes </strong>(per/min)<strong> •Takedowns </strong></p><p>▪3 wins by TKO ▪ 3.61 Landed ▪ 65.22% Accuracy</p><p>▪5 wins by Decision ▪ 3.07 Absorbed ▪ 62.50% Defended</p><p>▪9 wins by Submission</p><h2><strong><u>― PROS ―</u></strong></h2><p>•<strong> Ground Game </strong>(Michelle Waterson is a gifted grappler, she is a dangerous submission threat no matter where she is on the ground.)</p><p>•<strong> Speed </strong>(She is generally always faster than her opponent is, she is a great athlete and because of this, a speed threat. Whether its takedowns, defense, or general movement in the cage, she usually has an edge,</p><p>• <strong>Takedowns </strong>(Her takedown percentage is actually phenomenal. If you take a look at the best of the best in the UFC, whether they are male or female, they don’t often have a 65% takedown attempt average. That is really good, and that will be a major threat for Joanna on Saturday.)</p><h2><strong><u>― CONS ―</u></strong></h2><p>• <strong>Striking </strong>(Waterson has come a long long way in this practice since 2012, but it is still one of the worse things she does well in the Octagon.)</p><p>• <strong>Stamina </strong>(Her stamina is a lot better than most, but it is worth noting that we have seen her really tired before in the Octagon. Even if it only happens in 25% of her fights, it still happens.)</p><h2 style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://www.bjpenn.com/wp-content/uploads/Joanna-Jedrzejczyk-7-696x399.png" style="width:700px;height:401px" /><br /><b>Joanna Jedrzejczyk</b></h2><div><p>Born in Poland, Joanna started training in Muay Thai at the age of 16 years old. For over a decade she would compete in various Muay Thai and kickboxing tournaments. When ti was all said and done she won over 60 matches including 6 IMFA medals and four IFMA European championships.</p><p>In late 2012 she transitioned to mixed martial arts and began her professional career. She fought in various regional promotions including former #1 Russian women’s MMA fighter in the world Julia Berezikova. Finally, in 2014 with a record of 6-0 the UFC came calling and Joanna answered the call.</p><p>She signed with the UFC in July 2014 and debuted against Juliana Lima and won by unanimous decision. After her UFC debut she would be on her way to one of the most dominant runs in UFC strawweight history. At UFC 185 she would go on to beat Carla Esparza for the women’s strawweight title. After winning the championship she defended the belt 5 consecutive times before losing to title to Rose Namajunas at UFC 217. In a rematch she fell short again and in her last fight lost to phenom Valentina Shevchenko. Its crazy to think a woman who defended a championship 5 times needs a win in the worst way, but she needs one. Will she be able to get back on track Saturday? Below is a look at Joanna Jedrzejczyk, by the numbers.</p><h2><strong>― STATS ―</strong></h2><p>•<strong>Method of Victory •Significant Strikes </strong>(per/min)<strong> •Takedowns </strong></p><p>▪4 wins by TKO ▪6.07 Landed ▪ 65.67% Accuracy</p><p>▪10 wins by Decision ▪2.77 Absorbed ▪ 80.53% Defended</p><p>▪1 win by Submission</p><h2><strong><u>― PROS ―</u></strong></h2><p>• <strong>Striking </strong>(Joanna Jedrzejczyk is a world class striker. 27-3 as a kick boxer, 37-3 as a Muay Thai fighter and 15-3 as a mixed martial artist. A multiple time champion in most of them. WORLD CLASS.)</p><p>•<strong> Speed </strong>(She is lightning fast in the cage. Whether it’s her movement in the cage or her hand and leg speed she is usually faster than her opponent.)</p><p>•<strong>Takedown Defense</strong> (I don’t normally throw a fighter’s takedown defense in the pro column but a takedown defense of almost 81% is rock solid.)</p><h2><strong><u>― CONS ―</u></strong></h2><p>• <strong>Chin </strong>(Joanna has dropped before in fights. It seems like it is getting easier as the years go by but she is still one of he greatest and a champ in my book.)</p><p>• <strong>Ground Game </strong>(She is a pure striker through and through, her ground game is basically nonexistent.)</p><p><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=168&amp;a=4417b7df-a48f-47f3-9b45-f79858bc083a&amp;f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d582dcf927b95968483da5f/original-10-bet-new-customer-welcome-bonus" style="width:100%" /></a></p><h2><strong>THE VERDICT</strong></h2><p><strong>So, who wins this fight? First and foremost, let’s start here. I can not bet this fight at the current price point. Joanna Jedrzejczyk should win this fight, it’s her to lose. The problem is I can’t back at her at (1.26). Michelle Waterson should not be an underdog of (4.00). Does that mean I am looking to back her as a dog? No, not really.</strong></p><p><strong>This matchup is similar to the Jedrzejczyk / Gadelha fights. Joanna fought a really strong grappler with a subpar striking game and Joanna got the job done. The fight comes down to the same question that Joanna answered against Gadelha. Can Michelle Waterson get Joanna to the ground? Based on everything we have seen thus far in Jedrzejczyk’s career, and based on her 81% career takedown defense the answer is no. Because of this, It is really hard to back Waterson here.</strong></p><p><strong>Is Michelle Waterson a better athlete then Gadelha? Yes. That does not mean she will have greater success getting Joanna to the ground, because nobody has really been effective at it. So, I will be looking into the props market when they drop. I believe there has to be a better angle in this fight than the money line in this fight. </strong></p><p><strong>In closing, if you want to take a meaningless half unit flyer on Michelle Waterson in hopes that she will find success in her takedown and grappling game then have at it, I am not going to stop you. Don’t put any serious money on it though. As far as an OFFICIAL pick, stay tuned to the @OddsMarket and @TheSportsKegCEO Twitter accounts for updates on a pick in this fight.</strong></p><h2><strong>THE LEAN</strong></h2><p><strong><em>Joanna Jedrzejczyk </em></strong><strong><em>(not betting it at this price point, stay tuned…)</em></strong></p></div></div></div>
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