Joanna Champion is back on track with a vicious win over Michelle Waterson…
It’s been a long road back towards redemption for Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She dropped two straight losses to Rose Namajunas before bouncing back against Tecia Torres. Then there was a tough defeat to Valentina Shevchenko. Now she’s back with another win, this time against ‘The Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson.
Waterson believed that a win over Jedrzejczyk would leave her standing as the number one contender at strawweight. However, it was always going to be a tough task for ‘The Karate Hottie’ who is a former Invicta atomweight champion. Many questioned whether she’d be able to handle the Polish fighter’s pace and quantity of strikes.
The short answer is no, she wasn’t. Jedrzjczyk unloaded with vicious strikes, putting a beating on Waterson. The American hung tough but there’s no doubt that she was outclassed on the night in Tampa. Jedrzejczyk was just in a different class.
— UFC (@ufc) October 13, 2019
From the offset, it was clear that Waterson was facing an uphill battle. Jedrzejczyk unloaded with leg kicks, tenderising the smaller fighters thighs. She connected with vicious combinations, marking up the Jackson-Wink fighter’s face. ‘The Karate Hottie’ struggled to close the distance and connect with her own strikes.
Meanwhile, the Polish queen of violence demonstrated her remarkable takedown defence. Waterson tried to sweep her feet but struggled immensely and got beaten up in the clinch. It looked like being a long night for Albuquerque native. However, at the end of the second round, Waterson showed that she remained dangerous. She managed to take Jedrzejczyk’s back and threaten with the choke.
However, that only served to annoy Joanna, who broke free and then unloaded with savagery on her opponent. And that was the story of this fight. Waterson never looked like giving up but she never really had much chance of gaining a foothold either.
— ufcespanol (@UFCEspanol) October 13, 2019
The Polish fighter made it clear that she wants another title shot. She called out China’s Weili Zhang and insisted that she’s the best fighter at strawweight. Jedrzejczyk may well get that shot, but she’ll have to recover from a broken foot first. The only other reasonable contender is Tatiana Suarez who is also currently out injured.
“Let’s go baby, let’s fight for the belt. Who is the real queen? Bow down, I’m the real queen. The future is very clear, I’m going for the strawweight belt. I want to get ready as soon as possible. I feel great. I’m very happy that I’m back on the winning track. I can not wait to step back into the Octagon and face the champion.”
"I needed this fight in order to understand how to move forward."
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) October 13, 2019
Naturally, Waterson was devastated after losing. She came out to talk to the media and gave an emotional interview. She claimed that she was disappointed in her performance and that she had learned a lot from this defeat. Waterson said:
“It was never my intention to take damage. My intention was to win. I will go back to the drawing board and figure out.. I know what I did wrong. You know I was reaching for the shots, instead of setting them up. Then I was getting stuck up against the cage and caught, instead of getting off the cage I was being stubborn and trying to fight through it. So, you know, lesson learned and I’ll come back stronger.”
Waterson is one of the most popular fighters on the roster so she has no fear of fans falling away. You also have to credit her for hanging with the best at strawweight despite her physical limitations.