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UFC on ESPN+ 19 results: Joanna Jedrzejczyk just too much for a game Michelle Waterson

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Michelle Waterson is an all-heart fighter who was once Invicta FC champion at 105 pounds. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is a former UFC strawweight champion who spent much of her career at 125 pounds.

And that size discrepancy made all the difference when the two skilled foes square off in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 19 on Saturday night.

Waterson, as always, proved a game foe and had her moments, but Jedrzejczyk’s size and strength ultimately proved too much as she rolled to a unanimous-decision victory. The judges’ scores at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., were 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46.

The former 115-pound champ set the tone in the opening round, as she managed to goad Waterson into the clinch. Waterson (17-7 MMA, 5-3 UFC)landed knees and occasional elbows, but not as often or with as much force as Jedrjezczyk (16-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who dictated where the fight moved.

This continued in the second, and as Jedrzejczyk started to wear her foe down, she began implementing the vaunted kicking game which led to her championship run.

In the third, Waterson showed why she’s become a fan favorite. She continued to eat shots for most of the round, but in the final minute, she electrified the crowd by shooting for the takedown and swiftly transitioning to a rear-naked choke that nearly ended the fight.

But Jedrzejczyk survived the round, then went back to her kicking game in the fourth, and added her first takedown of the fight for good measure.

Coming out for the fifth, it was clear Jedrzejczyk had a badly swollen right foot. Jedrzejczyk, who landed more than 200 strikes in the fight, went back to punching and clinching. Waterson looked for a comeback finish right up until the fight’s final moments, and got her opponent’s back one more time, but she never quite turned the fight in her favor.

With her 11th career decision victory, Jedrzejczyk has now won two straight 115-pound fights and two of three overall. Waterson’s loss snapped a three-fight win streak.

“I got a broken foot in the end of the second round, beginning of the third,” Jedrzejczyk said. “It was hard, but it was an honor to headline a show here in Tampa, Fla.”

Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN+ 19 results include:

Joanna Jedrzejczyk def. Michelle Waterson via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) Cub Swanson def. Kron Gracie via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Niko Price def. James Vick via knockout (punch) — Round 1, 1:44 Amanda Ribas def. Mackenzie Dern via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Matt Frevola def. Luis Pena via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Eryk Anders def. Gerald Meerschaert via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Ryan Spann def. Devin Clark via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:01 Mike Davis def. Thomas Gifford via knockout (punch) – Round 3, 4:45 Alex Morono def. Max Griffin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27) Deiveson Figueiredo def. Tim Elliott via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 3:08 Marlon Vera def. Andre Ewell via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 3:17 Miguel Baeza def. Hector Aldana via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:32 Marvin Vettori def. Andrew Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) J.J. Aldrich def. Lauren Mueller via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

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