This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC Long Island, we saw a matchup in the strawweight division. Top fifteen contenders battled it out as Michelle Waterson-Gomez (18-10) took on Amanda Lemos (12-2-1).
For Waterson-Gomez, this was a huge fight to try and get back on track. The Karate Hottie has struggled in her last few UFC fights. Entering Saturday, she was just 1-3 in her last four. Granted, all three losses were to elite competition.
Nevertheless, she still hasn’t put everything together in her UFC career thus far. In the first round on Saturday, she looked really good. Waterson-Gomez was doing what she had to do which was point-shot and stay away from the power of Lemos.
Then, she was able to mix in a takedown and have some solid ground control. There was no doubt in my mind that Waterson-Gomez won the first round at UFC Long Island. She just needed to win one more round and survive to get the victory.
In the second round, she went for a takedown which could have secured that round. Lemos defended well and when they scrambled, she snatched up the neck of Waterson-Gomez and locked in a guillotine. After initially fighting to get out, Waterson-Gomez was forced to tap and dropped to 1-4 in her last five.
What’s next after UFC Long Island?
I was happy to hear Waterson-Gomez state after the fight that she’s not planning on going anywhere. The 36-year-old will fight on and continue her UFC career despite that recent 1-4 stretch.
Waterson-Gomez was looking good on Saturday prior to getting caught in that submission. One problem that has always plagued Waterson-Gomez in the UFC is her size. When she was at her peak in her competitive prime, she was fighting at atomweight.
Unfortunately for her, the UFC has never introduced that weight class which she was best suited for. With that being the case, she’s always been fighting up a weight class. She will get another fight regardless at 115 and there are some matchups for her.
Personally, I like the idea of her and Jessica Penne running things back. Penne also lost at UFC Long Island and these two fought in Invicta at atomweight with Waterson-Gomez successfully defending her title at the time. This seems like a good next fight for both.