The UFC is back this Saturday, May 8 at the UFC Apex with a pair of strawweights moving up to flyweight for the UFC Vegas 26 main event.
“The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson will meet Marina Rodriguez at 125-pounds, while Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will take on Alex Morono in the night’s co-main event.
In the main event, Michelle Waterson takes on Marina Rodriguez to cap off the evening. Waterson is 3-2 in her last 5 outings and coming off of a razor-thin decision to Angela Hill. “The Karate Hottie” was scheduled to fight Amanda Ribas in January in a highly anticipated matchup before Waterson was forced to withdraw due to a death in the family. Tonight, Waterson returns looking to capture another win in spectacular fashion.
Marina Rodriguez stepped in Waterson’s place to face Amanda Ribas in January when Waterson was forced to withdraw. Rodriguez rose to the occasion, dispatching Ribas in the first minute of the second round via TKO. Rodriguez steps into her first UFC main event this evening looking to keep her winning ways rolling against Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson.
Here is how the flyweight bout between Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez went down at UFC Vegas 26, including round-by-round scoring. For full results of the event, check them out right here.
Round 1: A slight feeling out process gets this bout underway. Waterson fires a hard left hand first. Rodriguez throws heavily upstairs, followed by her vicious leg kicks. Both fighters trade their respective strikes, momentarily. Rodriguez is the bigger fighter and looks to implement her size advantage. Waterson is the more technical and slicker striker early on in the bout but isn’t able to shrug off Rodriguez’s stalking Muay Thai style of heavy kicks and punches. With 10 seconds left, Waterson attempts to score last moment points while Rodriguez bullies her knees and punches inside.
MyMMANews scores round 1 for Marina Rodriguez.
Round 2: Rodriguez gets back to work with a teep kick to the midsection and begins chopping away at Waterson’s legs. Waterson looks frustrated with Rodriguez’s overall size and capability in the clinch, retreating any time Rodriguez gets close. Rodriguez does a fantastic job closing the distance to work knees inside the clinch. With a minute and a half left in the round, Rodriguez takes a few steps backward, breathing heavily while Waterson blitzes forward to expose the moment of vulnerability. Rodriguez returns the favor to close the round with a blistering combination, closing the round brutalizing Waterson
MyMMANews scores round 2 for Marina Rodriguez. 10-9
Round 3: Waterson chops for a calf kick, tripping herself in the process. Upon standing, Rodriguez lands a head kick and unleashes a punch combination followed by a knee upstairs. Rodriguez looks to dispatch “The Karate Hottie,” throwing punches in bunches upstairs in an attempt to overwhelm Waterson. A sidekick from Waterson trips Rodriguez as Waterson punches her opponent with a hard leg kick upon standing. Waterson switches levels for a takedown attempt but to no avail. Waterson remains in the fight throwing what she can and attempting to move from immediate danger. Rodriguez’s size continues to prove to be the deciding factor, pressing Waterson against the fence and teeing off time and time again.
MyMMANews scores round 3 for Marina Rodriguez. 10-9
Round 4: The action has settled a bit with both fighters landing their respective punches. Waterson continues using her speed to strike and move in and out. After receiving a few hard shots, Rodriguez gets back to utilizing her sing her size advantage to dictate the pace. Waterson gets the bout to the canvas where she peppers Rodriguez with punches to advance position. Waterson remains in control for the remainder of the round, trapping Rodriguez’s right arm under her knee to score some last-second punches from the top position.
MyMMANews scores round 4 Michelle Waterson. 10-9
Round 5: Both fighters have noticeably slowed their pace and start the round exchanging a few jabs and kicks. Waterson is utilizing her kicks to dictate this round looking to her speed. Rodriguez picks up the pace, walking forward with authority to regain her momentum similar to the early rounds. Waterson is doing a much better job fending off Rodriguez’s vicious onslaughts as she utilizing her successful sidekicks to evade significant damage. In the closing seconds, both fighters threw caution to the wind in an attempt to pull out a last-second KO as they traded bombs.
MyMMANews scores round 5 for Marina Rodriguez. 10-9
Official result: Marina Rodriguez defeats Michelle Waterson via unanimous decision.
(48 47), (49-46), (49-46)
Currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Wilmington University, Adam’s passion for the sport only grows stronger when a fighter’s voice can be heard. He thrives on asking detailed questions to inspire the thoughts behind the punches in hopes that each fighter can find their proper justice. Specializing in pre and post fight interviews for MyMMANews, Adam strives to keep the fight fans up to speed with the most recent and authentic MMA news possible.
He is Co-promoter of Delaware’s premier kick-boxing and Muay Thai organization, IBF Promotions. Recently he has also accompanied MMA organizations Global Proving Ground and XCC as Co-host and ringside commentator.