UFC Tampa in Tweets

Pro's react to UFC Tampa

Another weekend and another fantastic night of UFC action, this time in Tampa, Florida. Opening the main card was a pair of Middleweights, as Eryk Anders squared off against Gerald Meerschaert. From the off, Anders was looking for his signature left hand which has defeated many opponents in the past. “Ya Boi” controlled the first without landing too frequently, but struggled in the second with Meerschaert’s movement. “G3” wobbled Anders in the third and had him on his bike, but Anders saw out a split decision victory on the judges scorecards.

Next up was Matt Frevola against Luis Pena at 155lbs. Both men are coming off wins in their respective last fights and were looking to edge closer to the division’s top 15 on Saturday night. The first half of the opening round was dominated by Frevola who chased Pena around the octagon looking to land. But it was Pena who not only saw out the round stronger but took the first. In the second round, Pena landed an almighty flying knee which snapped Frevola’s head back but somehow, he was still standing. As the fight went to the judges cards, the general consensus was that Pena had just about done enough to get the nod. However, it was the hometown fighter Frevola who got the win via split decision.

A women’s strawweight bout was next on deck as Mackenzie Dern faced off against Amanda Ribas. Just 4 months ago, Dern gave birth to a baby girl and was back looking to make a statement. Across the cage was Amanda Ribas who was coming off a submission win over Emily Whitmire back in June. This was 3 rounds of domination by the Brazilian Ribas, who limited Dern to less than 25 strikes throughout the 15 minutes. Amanda Ribas took the win via three 30-27 scores to move herself closer to the division’s top 10.

A FOTN contender took place next, as divisional debutant James Vick went up against Niko Price. After 3 losses in a row in the Lightweight division, a move up to 170lbs was next on the cards for the Texas native. Across the cage was the “Hybrid” Niko Price. One of the most exciting fighters in the UFC, Price has one of the most memorable KO’s in history against Randy Brown in 2018 to his name. Many were criticising the UFC for this matchup, and the fears were aligned. Price was landing early and got the fight to the ground, but as Vick reversed position, he walked on to a upkick and became only the second victim of an up-kick KO in UFC history.

Veteran vs. Prospect was up next, as Cub Swanson squared off against Kron Gracie. This was a must win for Swanson as he was on a 4 fight losing streak and in serious danger of being cut from the promotion. Gracie was coming off his UFC debut and a submission win back in February. Cub targeted the body of Gracie early on and was constantly landing. Kron just kept walking forward and was turning the fight into a stand up brawl much to the surprise of everyone. With the success that Cub was having to the body, Gracie didn’t manage to complete a takedown and it was Cub who took the decision with a trio of 30-27 scores to get his first win since 2017.

The main event was next up as former Strawweight queen Joanna Jędrzejczyk was looking to get back to a title shot against longtime contender Michelle Waterson. Having lost 3 of her last 4, a win in Tampa was a must for Joanna. Waterson was on her best run since joining the UFC, with a 3 fight winning streak, and a win over the former champion would put her in pole position to face the newly crowned 115lb champion Weili Zhang.

The majority of the first round was spent on the cage, with Joanna being the dominating force. She was landing alot of elbows in the clinch which led the nose of Waterson to bleed as the first round finished.  The volume and pure pressure of Joanna was incredible throughout the fight and Waterson just couldn’t gain any offense. In the third, Michelle managed to get hold of Joanna’s back and very nearly sunk in a rear naked choke, but with limited time left in the round, Joanna managed to escape. Jędrzejczyk saw out a unanimous decision victory via the judges scorecards. When this Joanna Jędrzejczyk shows up to fight, there’s not many, if any that can beat her. After the fight, JJ called for her shot at the new champion to try and reclaim her crown at 115lbs.

Check out the reaction to a great night of action in Florida.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs Michelle Waterson

Cub Swanson vs Kron Gracie

Niko Price vs James Vick 

Amanda Ribas vs Mackenzie Dern

Matt Frevola vs Luis Pena

Eryk Anders vs Gerald Meerschaert

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BreakdownMMAOpinionResultsSportsUFC

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