Former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-3, 4 KOs, 1 SUB) will meet veteran Michelle Waterson (17-6, 3 KOs, 9 SUBs) at UFC on ESPN+ 19 on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at the Amalie Center in Tampa, Florida. The card streams live on ESPN+ starting 5pm ET.
This has all the markings of a fun fight: both women are excellent strikers, and Waterson is known for putting on wars. Sign Up at Betcris! let’s take a look at the UFC odds and go over your best MMA betting picks. Live UFC betting at Betcris is available if you need to hedge your bets between rounds on fight night.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk was perfect through the first 14 fights of her MMA career. During that time, she won the UFC strawweight belt, defended it five times, and inserted her name into the WMMA GOAT conversation. That all changed in an instant when she was knocked out by Rose Namajunas in 2017. She suffered a unanimous decision in an immediate rematch, and two fights later she was beaten handily by Valentina Shevchenko in an inaugural flyweight title match.
Luckily for the former champ, Rose Namajunas lost the belt to Jessica Andrade, who lost the belt to Weili Zhang. It was doubtful that J-Check would get a third shot at Namajunas, but against anyone else she’d be an obvious choice. Of course, she’d need to get through Michelle Waterson in their main event matchup this Saturday in Tampa.
Waterson is in the biggest fight of her career - a win could easily cement a case for a title shot. Since consecutive losses to Namajunas and Tecia Torres, The Karate Hottie has won three straight, most recently beating Karolina Kowalkiewicz. The 33-year old has taken a long time to get here, so all credit goes to the former Invicta FC champ for rising into the contender ranks fighting above her natural weight class of atomweight.
- Joanna Jedrzejczyk -350
- Michelle Waterson +290
- Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: -245 / +175
Significant Striking Stats
- Strikes landed per minute: Jedrzejczyk 6.07 / Waterson 4.04
- Striking accuracy: Jedrzejczyk 46% / Waterson 57%
- Strikes absorbed per minute: Jedrzejczyk 2.77 / Waterson 3.76
- Striking defense: Jedrzejczyk 65% / Waterson 51%
- Takedowns per 15 minutes: Jedrzejczyk 0.14 / Waterson 2.15
- Takedown accuracy: Jedrzejczyk 66% / Waterson 60%
- Takedown defense: Jedrzejczyk 80% / Waterson 62%
- Submissions per 15 minutes: Jedrzejczyk 0 / Waterson 1.25
Online oddsmakers opened with Joanna as a big favorite, seeing that it’s clear that this is a matchup that favors her style. Her only defeats have come against fighters that were able to use length and speed to beat her in the striking ranges. Against slower fighters like Kowalkiewicz, Andrade and Gadelha, the ATT member was able to dictate the range and establish a rhythm with her high output, textbook kickboxing skills.
Waterson is generally a very good striker, but she doesn’t have the length and quickness of Namajunas or the size and strength of Shevchenko. As usual, The Karate Hottie will have to enter the cage as the smaller fighter, which is a huge problem against Joanna. Facing pretty much every physical disadvantage possible, Waterson won’t be able to get much offense going. While she’s an excellent scrambler, Waterson doesn’t have the technique or power to take a cardio machine like Joanna to the mat.
UFC Odds pick: Parlay Jedrzejczyk to win at -350
We usually don’t recommend such a lopsided money line, so we suggest using this pick as a parlay booster. Waterson simply doesn’t have any viable paths to victory here, and even a flash knockout is very unlikely as she doesn’t have killshot power.
UFC Odds Pick: Jedrzejczyk to win by decision at -170
Joanna hasn’t stopped anyone since scoring a TKO over an outgunned Jessica Penne in 2015. Waterson has only been knocked out once in her career. While Jedrzejzyk should land plenty of strikes, her high-octane offense is based on volume, not power, and she has never shown a real submission game to boot.