For the first time in her career, Polish UFC superstar Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-3) will headline an event that will not involve a world championship. Instead, the highly decorated former champion will look to jump right back into the title mix when she squares off against the always dangerous and crafty Michelle Waterson (17-6).
Despite coming in on the strength of a 3-fight winning streak, you’re going to find that the UFC betting tips that offer Waterson a chance at victory come October 12th in lovely Tampa, Florida, are almost non-existing. It seems like everyone already decided who is going to win, unless there will be a big surprise. Statistics might have their own advantages in predicting the results, but things can change any second and depend on a lot of other things too.
With just one victory inside of the Octagon over his last four contests, Joanna “Champion” is still getting the odds of a world champion from today’s bookmakers. The #5 ranked Jedrzejczyk is currently as high as a -360 with the comeback on the #7 ranked Waterson sitting right around +270. Simply put, the 2015 Lady Violence award winner has a clear volume striking advantage over everyone she faces at 115 lbs. The key for the record breaking striker would be to stay upright against a fighter in Waterson who is a viable submission threat on any given night.
You can’t preview this contest without mention of the newest UFC champion, Zhang Weili, and her ultra impressive 42-second finish of Jessica Andrade that would make her the first UFC Champion for China.
A new champion inside of the women’s strawweight division means a win by either headliner could set up a title shot in 2020. For Jedrzejczyk, it’s important for to get a victory over a top ranked opponent following her two losses to Rose Namajunas. Now, with Namajunas’ title reign having come to an end, one dominant performance or impressive finish is good enough for a former champion of Jedrzejczyk’s caliber to earn a shot at gold.
For Waterson, a victory over the most dominant champion in UFC strawweight history put an exclamation point on what would be a 4-fight win streak. This would ultimately earn the 33-year old former Invicta atomweight champion a potential shot at UFC gold. That said, we can’t forget about the undefeated Tatiana Suarez — it’ll take quite the performance to leap frog the TUF 23 ‘Team Joanna vs. Team Claudia’ winner in the rankings.
This pivotal battle headlines the UFC’s 161st ‘Fight Night’ offering (also known as UFC on ESPN+ 19) out of the Amalie Arena in Tampa on Saturday, October 12th. A featherweight contest between fan favorite, Cub Swanson (25-11) and BJJ royalty, Kron Gracie (5-0), is slotted to co-headline the show