UFC Tampa: Jedrzejczyk makes weight, fight vs. Waterson to go on as scheduled

Amidst all of the fight week drama and Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s (15-3) alleged weight cut struggles, UFC’s main event in Tampa is all set and ready to go. Both Jedrzejczyk and Michelle Waterson (17-6) hit the scales on Friday morning ahead of their potential number one contender eliminator bout, coming in at 115.5 and 115 pounds respectively.

All MMA media outlets jumped on the breaking news that circulated at the start of the week when it was reported that Jedrzejczyk was going to struggle to make the 116lbs weight limit, and that a potential catchweight bout at 120lbs was being discussed. And even in spite of the former champion coming out and stating that she will be on the limit and ready to go, having never missed weight in the past, the pure possibility of her missing weight began to gain traction on MMA Twitter.

Some of the things people were saying, in true social media fashion, were out of place. But that’s really what you sign up for when you enter the world of professional sports. You have to be able to take the heat, even if you think that you may have done enough in your career to have earned some credibility. And still, with all of that going on around her, and with reassurances from the boss Dana White, Jedrzejczyk showed up and made weight in the true champ fashion that she had gotten the fans used to.

The fight week turmoil may have also had an effect on Waterson. There was a lot of questions flying in at “The Karate Hottie” in regards to this bout and whether she would accept a potential fight at catchweight. But with her eyes set solely on a title shot in the near future, Waterson seemed to have retained her composure and she arrived at the early weigh-ins wearing her usual bright smile.

Jedrzejczyk tried to make the face-off serious and tense. But Waterson, not known for aggressive pre-fight antics, cooled everything off with humor, and even brought a smile out of the former champ.

Now, finally, it is time for in-cage actions to do the talking. This is an interesting matchup. Jedrzejczyk will be desperate to get back into the win column — especially knowing that she is just one fight away from a potential title shot. Waterson has only been in the UFC for three years but she is really starting to come into her own as a mixed martial artist. And as she is riding a three fight win streak heading into Saturday’s main event, she will be hoping that getting her hand raised against the former Strawweight queen will be enough to warrant her first shot at the strap.

 

 

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Sports journalist based in CA, USA. Twitter: @ArionArmeniakos

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