Michelle Waterson vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz Added to UFC Philadelphia

Karolina Kowalkiewicz UFC
Karolina Kowalkiewicz Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

The just-announced UFC Philadelphia (UFC On ESPN 2) has added a key strawweight bout between Michelle Waterson and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

Well that didn’t take long. Mere hours after the UFC announced their return to Philadelphia, UFC President Dana White let slip that a key women’s strawweight bout was on the card. That comes in the form of Michelle Waterson taking on Karolina Kowalkiewicz. ESPN was first to report the news Tuesday.

Waterson (16-6), a former Invicta FC atomweight champ, came into the UFC behind a ton of hype back in 2015. However, she struggled with injuries and despite winning her first two bouts, ‘The Karate Hottie’ hit a wall against Tecia Torres and future champ Rose Namajunas.

2018 was a bounce back year for Waterson, however. She picked up decision wins over Cortney Casey and Felice Herrig that have put her back on track, and in a showdown with a former title challenger.

That would be Poland’s Karolina Kowalkiewicz, who previously challenged Joanna Jedrzejczyk for gold in 2016. Since then, Kowalkiewicz (12–3) has gone 2-2, with wins over Herrig and Jodie Esquibel, and losses to Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade.

UFC on ESPN 2, which UFC Philadelphia is expected to go down as, takes place March 30 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. No main event has been announced for the show.