Michelle Waterson put it all together at UFC Philadelphia with an impressive decision victory over former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Michelle Waterson was an atomweight champion in Invicta FC, defending her title once before losing her belt and moving up to 115 to join the UFC. Waterson won her first two fights in the Octagon before falling to both Rose Namajunas and Tecia Torres. “The Karate Hottie” won twice last year, defeating both Cortney Casey and Felice Herrig by decision.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz is one of the top strikers in the strawweight division and already has a win over current champion Rose Namajunas. The Polish strawweight is 5-3 in the UFC and has lost to the who’s who of the division in Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Claudia Gadelha, and Jessica Andrade. The knockout loss to Andrade ended a two-fight winning streak, so Kowalkiewicz will be looking to return to form in this one.
Round one was a tough round to score, both women landed a similar amount of shots and fought at a similar pace. However, Waterson appeared to push the pressure more and that may have won her the round.
The second round is where Waterson was at her best, however, Waterson got her to the ground and dominated her from there. Karolina was also very close to being submitted in the second round, but she gutted through an armbar.
Round three was another good round for Waterson, albeit less dominant. She once again got Karolina to the ground, but she couldn’t hold her there. She ended the round pushing the pace and landing better shots, as Karolina continued to back up despite her corner telling her she was likely down two rounds.
This was an all-around good performance for Waterson, she likely won’t get a title shot from this, but she deserves to be in the conversation.
Michelle Waterson def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)