She may have been defeated at #UFConFox24 last month, but Michelle Waterson could still only be one or two wins away from the putting her name back in the mix of the UFC strawweight title picture.
Speaking to Champions.co last month, Waterson gave her perspective on the upcoming showdown between champion, #JoannaJedrzejczyk, and the challenger, Andrade.
“It really depends on the type of fighter that Andrade decides to be that night,” Waterson said. “She’s a lot shorter and she does like to throw loopy, heavy punches. Joanna is the much taller, rangier fighter and Joanna throws straight down the middle.”
If the challenger is to have success at UFC 211, Waterson believes that Andrade will have to adopt a high-pressure, grappling based gameplan like the one Claudia Gadelha used in the first two rounds of her title fight with Jedrzejczyk last July.
“If Jessica Andrade does try to throw those loopy punches from the outside, I don’t think she’s going to be able to get in,” Watterson said. “If she decides to use her wrestling and pressure forward to close the distance, then I think it could be a different story—that’s not what I saw, though, when she fought Angela Hill.”
Should the fight go the full, five, championship rounds, Waterson believes that this will favor the Polish champion, given her experience going the distance.
“One of the interesting things about this fight is what happens if it goes five rounds,” Waterson said. “Joanna has shown time and time again, in her fight with Claudia especially, that she has good stamina and that she can even turn it up the later it gets. We’ve yet to see Jessica in that sort of situation, so I think if it goes longer, Joanna will have the advantage. That’s me just saying that from what I’ve seen, though. I’m sure Jessica has prepared for a five-round fight.”
Waterson then made her pick and said she expects the words “#AndStill” to be reverberating around the American Airlines Centre on May 13.
“I see Joanna winning,” Waterson said. “I think it will go the distance and it will be close, but if you had to make me choose, yeah, I’ll go with the champion Joanna.”
Jedrzejczyk vs. Andrade will serve as the co-main event of the evening on May 13. In the main event, UFC heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic, defends his title against former champion, Junior dos Santos.