Final Preventing Championship (UFC) Strawweight skills Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Michelle Waterson will battle this Saturday (March 30, 2019) at UFC on ESPN 2 from Wells Fargo Heart in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
After her failed title bid to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Kowalkiewicz’s inventory didn’t fall a lot, because it was a aggressive battle and he or she was unbeaten in any other case. In lower than three years since that defeat, nonetheless, Kowalkiewicz has fallen on onerous instances: her two wins in that interval had been considerably lackluster, whereas her pair of losses had been brutally quick. In the meantime, Waterson has carried out very admirable regardless of dealing with a major dimension and energy drawback in nearly each considered one of her fights. That dimension disparity has saved her from the title combine to date, however “The Karate Hottie’s” craftiness has nonetheless seen her carve out a place within the Prime 10.
Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at the keys to victory for every girl:
Key Wins: Rose Namajunas (UFC 201), Felice Herrig (UFC 223), Randa Markos (UFC on FOX 17), Heather Jo Clark (UFC Combat Night time 87)
Key Losses: Jessica Andrade (UFC 228), Joanna Jedrzejczyk (UFC 205), Claudia Gadelha (UFC 212)
Keys to Victory: Kowalkiewicz has some skilled Muay Thai fights on her report, however she’s a type of tall-and-strong fighters who by no means fairly mastered distance kickboxing. As an alternative, Kowalkiewicz thrives within the clinch, the place she will be able to muscle round opponents and slam knees and elbows into opponents struggling to flee.
Feels like an incredible plan in opposition to a smaller fighter.
As a fan of good preventing, it genuinely pains me to observe a majority of Michelle Waterson’s opponents fail to even strive making the most of their dimension. Credit score to Waterson for locating methods to win, however her fights can be rather more troublesome if previous opponents had been extra prepared to push the difficulty.
Kowalkiewicz shouldn’t have this subject. The Polish athlete is aggressive, high-volume and loves the clinch. As long as she stays true to her fashion and forces the battle, her dimension and brutal knees from shut distance ought to rapidly put on down Waterson.
Key Wins: Cortney Casey (UFC on FOX 29), Felica Herrig (UFC 229) Paige VanZant (UFC on FOX 22), Jessica Penne (Invicta FC 5)
Key Losses: Rose Namajunas (UFC on FOX 24), Tecia Torres (UFC 218), Herica Tiburcio (Invicta FC 10)
Keys to Victory: At this level, Waterson’s technique is obvious sufficient. She solely needs to battle from two ranges: the clinch and kicking distance. Within the clinch, her hip tosses and takedowns are surprisingly highly effective and technical, and her Karate background and quickness helps fairly a bit at distance.
On this bout, the clinch just isn’t such a secure place for Waterson, because it’s additionally Kowalkiewicz’ strongest space. That doesn’t imply it should be averted utterly, solely utilized briefly. Waterson ought to try her favourite takedowns — getting on prime a few times will probably be key in swaying the choice to her nook — but when the try fails, get out of there!
At distance, Waterson does have a bonus. Kowalkiewicz is the heavier puncher, however she tends to be a bit clunky along with her motion. If Waterson is transferring quick and throwing lateral kicks, Kowalkiewicz may have a tough time monitoring her down.
Evasive motion, aspect kicks some fast combos, and a takedown or two appears like a profitable recipe for the previous Atomweight queen.
Backside Line: It’s a enjoyable match up between two girls trying to advance up the ladder.
The aforementioned losses to Gadelha and Andrade dropped Kowalkiewicz from the Prime 5, and the latter was some of the brutal knockouts (watch it) within the historical past of girls’s blended martial arts (MMA). It’s secure to say Kowalkiewicz is in want of some wins to distance herself from these defeats and rebuild momentum towards the highest of the division. The strain is certainly on although, as a defeat to Waterson would probably remove Kowalkiewicz from the Prime 10 totally and be fairly the autumn from grace.
There’s plenty of push behind Waterson from UFC. She’s been given a major occasion slot beforehand, shared a major card with Conor McGregor, labored the entrance desk on FOX, and simply yesterday, a brief documentary on her profession as a mom and fighter aired on ESPN (watch it). Merely put, UFC would actually like to see her win this bout and advance into the title image.
Vital funding from UFC or not, this stays a tricky process for “Karate Hottie.”
At UFC on ESPN 2, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Michelle Waterson will sq. off. Which girl may have her hand raised?
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