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UFC Fight Night 161: Stats And Video Highlights From Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s Win Over Michelle Waterson


Oct. 13, 2019

The goal in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 161 fight card was to get a win and secure a title shot. Former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk accomplished the first half of that equation when she earned a decision victory over Michelle Waterson. We don’t know if Jedrzejczyk will get a shot at current 115-pound champion Weili Zhang, but we do know the ex-champ made it clear that she wanted that fight.
“Who is the real queen? Bow down, bow down. I’m the real queen,” Jedrzejczyk told UFC commentator Michael Bisping when asked what fight she wanted next. “(UFC president) Dana (White), I’ll call you in a minute.”
Jedrzejczyk, who was once considered one of the top strikers in the UFC, had taken a tumble over the last two years.
At this time in 2017, Jedrzejczyk had successfully defended the strawweight title five times. Her record was 14-0. Then, in November 2017, Rose Namajunas knocked out Jedrzejczyk in the first round of their title fight. The stunning finish of that fight brought an end to the Polish fighter’s championship reign and put the first blemish on her record. Entering Saturday’s bout against Waterson, Jedrzejczyk was 15-3. Her only win over the past two years was a July 2018 decision victory over Tecia Torres.
Despite her tough run, Jedrzejczyk was a -350 favorite heading into Saturday night. Waterson, who was on a three-fight winning streak, was the +275 underdog.
Both women did their best to impose their will in the fight, but it was Jedrzejczyk who had much more success in that department. The ex-champ kept the fight standing, for the most part, and did an excellent job of mixing up her targets and techniques throughout the 25-minute battle.
Overall, Jedrzejczyk attempted 300 significant strikes. She landed 60 percent of those attempts. Jedrzejczyk landed 48 of 136 head strikes, 54 of 74 body blows and 78 of 90 leg kicks. Forty-three percent of Jedrzejczyk’s landed blows were to Waterson’s legs. Jedrzejczyk was successful on three of the five takedowns she attempted.
Waterson, whose plan of attack was to use her wrestling skills to negate the striking of her opponent, was able to complete one takedown on nine attempts. Waterson attempted 160 significant strikes during the bout, she landed 58 of those attempts for a success rate of 36 percent. Waterson landed 25 of 84 head strikes, 12 of 40 body blows and 21 of 36 leg kicks. Waterson mostly focused on head strikes. Forty-three percent of her landed significant strikes were blows to the head.
UFC Fight Night 161 took place at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The entire fight card streamed on ESPN+.
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