Michelle Waterson eyes title rematch with Rose Namajunas with win over Kowalkiewicz
On Saturday, the Octagon returns to Philadelphia for UFC on ESPN 2. In the main event, Justin Gaethje will be taking on Edson Barboza. But, another fight that is drawing attention is Michelle Waterson vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Both are top-10 strawweights, and with the division opening up, Waterson is confident she win in spectacular fashion on Saturday.
“I’m going in there to get the ‘W,’” Waterson said Wednesday at UFC on ESPN 2 open workouts. “My intention is to go in there and fly. Let it fly and enjoy myself and if that happens, it’s going to be spectacular.”
Meanwhile, the timing could not be better for Waterson, given Rose Namajunas is set to defend her title against Jessica Andrade on May 11. With a win here, Waterson believes she is next in line for a rematch against ‘Thug Rose.’
“I would love to run that one back 100 percent,” Waterson said.
Ultimately, Waterson is looking to extend her winning streak to three with a win over Kowalkiewicz. She last fought back in the Octagon at UFC 229 where she beat Felice Herrig by unanimous decision. She also holds wins over Cortney Casey and Paige VanZant among others.
As for Kowalkiewicz, she last fought at UFC 228 where she got knocked out to Jessica Andrade. Although it was a brutal knockout, Waterson knows Kowalkiewicz is still a very tough opponent. And, she is not taking her lightly for this one.
“You learn a lot from fighters by the way they react to losses, and every time Karolina has lost she’s come back stronger,” Waterson said. “I’m expecting a stronger Karolina who is prepared for those heavy shots and I’m excited to go in there and rise to the occasion be victorious.”
Right now, the focus is on Kowalkiewicz, but Waterson can’t help but think a dominant win here gets herself a title shot.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime