The UFC Tampa card just wrapped up with the promotion’s former strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, outclassing the #7 ranked Michelle Waterson for five rounds. Waterson just couldn’t get anything going, and JJ ran away with the scorecards in her return to 115 pounds.
Waterson pressed for an early takedown but JJ was able to stay standing and return to open space. They clinched up again and jockeyed for position, with JJ being the one landing the strikes. JJ came out in the second act landing volume from the outside. She landed an assortment of leg kicks, leaving noticeable welts on the legs of Waterson. Whenever Waterson did close the distance, the former champ was once again the one landing the bulk of the blows.
JJ continued to throw punches and finish her combinations with kicks in the third round. Waterson got some strikes in herself, but nowhere close to the same frequency as her opponent. She found herself stuck on the outside, exactly where JJ wanted her. Then, Waterson managed to take the back and worked hard for a rear-naked choke. JJ remained calm and stood back to her feet with Waterson attached. JJ blitzed Waterson in the closing moments of the round to get some of the momentum back.
The former champ got back to work with her volume to start the fourth frame. She continued to outclass Waterson in open space, throwing straight punches and religiously attacking the legs. Joanna also owned the clinch, scoring with an assortment of knees. Further establishing her dominance, JJ even scored a takedown of her own, albeit short-lived.
JJ answered the final bell with a severely swollen right foot. Despite the apparent injury, Joanna continued to own the striking exchanges. Waterson had a moment where she was able to take the back again while JJ was standing. The former champ worked her way out of the bad position and escaped back into open space and got back to business.