Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez headline this week's UFC event in Las Vegas. These two are a late replacement, as the original main event, Dillashaw vs. Sandhagen, was postponed. Waterson is 18-8 in her career, while Rodriguez is 13-1-2. There are a total of five fights on the main card on ESPN and there are seven fights on the preliminary card on ESPN+. Let's look at the bout between Waterson and Rodriguez and UFC predictions.
UFC Fight Night: Waterson vs. Rodriguez Betting
Michelle Waterson (18-8, 6-4 UFC)
Waterson came into the UFC with a record of 12-4 and she is 6-4 in the UFC. She is 3-2 in her last five fights. She won a split decision against Angela Hill in September of last year, lost a split decision to Carla Esparza in May of last year, lost a unanimous decision to Joanna Jedrzejczyk in October of 2019, won a unanimous decision against Karolina Kowalkiewicz in March of 2019 and won a unanimous decision against Felice Herrig in October of 2018. Waterson has been a pro since 2007 and she has three knockouts and nine submissions. She has eight first round finishes.
Waterson said Saturday's bout could end up as a striking battle. “It can be (a kickboxing fight). We are both really good strikers, but I've also been fighting for over 12 years, my game has evolved and developed," Waterson said to the media, “I'm a complete MMA fighter now, I have great wrestling, great jiu-jitsu, great cage control and I'm dangerous in all aspects. I see it happening in all sorts of different ways. It's one of those things you can't force, it's so last minute that it's going to be a fight. We don't have time to gameplan, it's just about showcasing our skills."
Marina Rodriguez (13-1-2, 3-1-2 UFC)
Rodriguez came into the UFC with a record of 10-0 and she has three wins, one loss and two draws in the UFC. She is 3-1-1 in her last five fights. She won by TKO against Amanda Ribas in January, lost a split decision to Carla Esparza in July of last year, fought to a draw against Cynthia Calvillo in December of 2019, won a unanimous decision to Tecia Torres in August of 2019 and won a unanimous decision against Jessica Aguilar in March of 2019. Rodriguez has been a pro since 2015 and she has six knockout wins and one submission victory. She has three first round finishes.
Strikes landed per minute: Waterson 3.58/ Rodriguez 4.86
Striking Accuracy: Waterson 49% / Rodriguez 50%
Strikes absorbed per minute: Waterson 4.00/ Rodriguez 3.16
Defense: Waterson 49% / Rodriguez 53%
Takedown average: Waterson 1.52/ Rodriguez 0.36
Takedown Accuracy: Waterson 34% / Rodriguez 33%
Takedowns defended: Waterson 67% / Rodriguez 59%
Submission average: Waterson 0.9/ Rodriguez 0.2
Waterson would have the edge if she could get this fight to the mat, but it doesn't sound like that is going to be her strategy. If this turns into a striking battle then Rodriguez has a slight edge. I lean to Rodriguez, but I think the better choice is to play the rounds. Neither of these fighters has much finishing power, so this fight should go the distance and I'll take the rounds to go over the total.
UFC Fight Night: Waterson vs. Rodriguez Card & Odds
Women's Flyweight - Michelle Waterson +161 vs. Marina Rodriguez -205
Heavyweight - Philipe Lins -110 vs. Ben Rothwell -120
Women's Strawweight - Angela Hill +143 vs. Amanda Ribas -180
Welterweight - Neil Magny +150 vs. Geoff Neal -190
Lightweight - Carlos Diego Ferreira +146 vs. Gregor Gillespie -185
Middleweight - Kyle Daukaus -140 vs. Phil Hawes +110
Flyweight - Zarrukh Adashev +120 vs. Ryan Benoit -150
Heavyweight - Maurice Greene +158 vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima -200
Welterweight - Christian Aguilera +120 vs. Carlston Harris -150
Middleweight - Jun Yong Park +115 vs. Tafon Nchukwi -145
Featherweight - Michael Trizano +194 vs. Ludovít Klein -250
Welterweight - Donald Cerrone vs. TBA
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