After her big knockout win at UFC 257, what’s next for Marina Rodriguez?

Heading into UFC 257, all of the attention was on Amanda Ribas (10-2) when it came to the PPV opener. Ribas had a ton of hype behind her and many believed that she was the next big thing at strawweight.

However, Marina Rodriguez (13-1-2) was ready to make a statement at UFC 257. Despite both of these strawweight contenders being ranked around the same spot, all of the attention was on Ribas.

For Ribas to win, she was going to need to get this fight to the ground. Rodriguez has incredible standup skills, but she’s been in trouble when facing good grapplers. With that in mind, she really struggled in the first round at UFC 257.

In the first round, Ribas was able to land a takedown. Once on the ground, Ribas controlled Rodriguez for the majority of the round and landed some nice shots. However, the second round was a completely different story.

Ribas didn’t go for a takedown in the second round. Instead, she stood in the pocket with Rodriguez and she paid for it. Seconds into the round, Rodriguez dropped and hurt Ribas badly.

Rodriguez followed up with some shots and Herb Dean seemed to step in. She moved away to celebrate the win before realizing that the fight wasn’t stopped. Rodriguez then stepped right back in and finished Ribas off with a vicious elbow to close the show at UFC 257.

What’s next after UFC 257?

On the biggest stage against an opponent with a ton of hype, Marina Rodriguez performed at her very best. Her knockout win at UFC 257 is the biggest win of her career and it’s huge for her position in the strawweight division.

The new rankings just came out today and Rodriguez has moved up to sixth in the UFC’s strawweight division. With that big win on that stage, it appears that Rodriguez will get a big name in her next fight.

In looking at the strawweight division, I think a good fight for Rodriguez would be Michelle Waterson (18-8). Waterson is coming off of a big win over Angela Hill back in September and since 2018, she’s only lost to former champions.

The Karate Hottie is currently ranked two spots behind Rodriguez at eight. However, she has a big following and she’s a big name. The winner of that fight would be in a great position to challenge someone in the UFC’s top five.

UFC books Amanda Ribas – Marina Rodriguez

Yesterday we got the news that Michelle Waterson was having to pull out of UFC 257. She was expected to take on rising contender, Amanda Ribas (10-1) in a fight that many fans were looking forward to.

The gut feeling was that the promotion was going to keep Ribas on UFC 257 and search for a new opponent. Well, it didn’t take long for the UFC to find a willing fighter and book another fight for Amanda Ribas.

MMA Fighting was first to report that Ribas will now be taking on Marina Rodriguez (12-1-2) at UFC 257. Rodriguez is currently ranked eighth in the UFC’s strawweight rankings. For the record, Waterson is ranked seventh.

This is a great switch from the promotion who is trying to build up Ribas. They were able to quickly get her another opponent who is ranked in virtually the same position as her previous opponent.

Since making her UFC debut back in 2018, Rodriguez is 2-2-1. A mixed bag of results, but she’s been taking on some top competition since her appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Rodriguez suffered her first career defeat back in July when she lost to former champion, Carla Esparza, by split decision. Prior to that, she had fought to a draw with top flyweight contender and former strawweight, Cynthia Calvillo.

UFC 257 Strawweight Matchup

This is a fantastic matchup pairing together top UFC strawweights. Again, the promotion did a fantastic job of rebooking Ribas and giving her a top ten contender. Both of these ladies show so much promise in their careers.

You get the feeling that the UFC is going to really push Amanda Ribas. She’s become a favorite of the promotion and she’s ran through her UFC competition so far. Notably holding wins over Mackenzie Dern and Paige VanZant.

Ribas will enter the cage in January as the ninth ranked strawweight in the UFC. If she’s able to pickup the victory in January, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the promotion try to move her up against a top five opponent next.

UFC: Michelle Waterson – Amanda Ribas is off

A highly anticipated UFC strawweight matchup is off. MMA Fighting was first to report that the strawweight clash between Michelle Waterson (18-8) and Amanda Ribas (10-1) has been called off.

Waterson is the one who had to pull out of the matchup. Reasons have not been given as to why the fight is off. The strawweight fight was scheduled to take place on the main card of UFC 257, headlined by Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Waterson was looking to pickup her second straight win in the UFC. The Karate Hottie has been on a journey where she is attempting to become the first UFC champion that’s a mom.

She’s gotten close to a title shot a couple of times. However, she’s faltered when she had to go up against the elite of the UFC‘s strawweight division. She just picked up a big win over Angela Hill back in September. That win snapped a two-fight losing streak.

This is the second straight UFC fight that has fallen out for Amanda Ribas. Originally, Ribas was supposed to take on Carla Esparza at UFC 256, however, that fight ultimately fell through which led to the Waterson fight.

The UFC’s plan

At this time there is no word on what the UFC is planning on doing. With the event being more than a month away, the likely scenario is that the promotion will move to make another fight for Amanda Ribas.

Ribas is becoming a star in the strawweight division. Between her personality and her performances inside the octagon, she’s becoming a bright spot at strawweight. Ribas last competed at UFC 251 where she submitted Paige VanZant.

Ribas is undefeated since joining the UFC back in June of 2019. Most notably, Ribas is the only fighter to have defeated Mackenzie Dern. She won that fight by unanimous decision last October. Again, I think the promotion is going to try and keep Ribas on the card as of now.

State of the UFC’s strawweight division

Last night at UFC Vegas 13, a new contender emerged in the strawweight division. Eighth ranked Yan Xiaonan defeated fourth ranked Claudia Gadelha. Xiaonan became just the third women in UFC history begin her career at 6-0 with the victory.

She did a fantastic job last night of showing off her beautiful striking from distance. While Gadelha was able to take her down in the first round and control her, Xiaonan bounced back in the final two rounds to really dominate the striking and win the decision.

As stated, it was the sixth straight UFC victory for the Chinese born strawweight. The UFC‘s China market has taken off over the last couple of years and a major contributor to that is the current strawweight champion, Weili Zhang.

You have to imagine that the promotion is already daydreaming about a potential matchup between Zhang and Xiaonan. That would easily be the biggest fight in the history of Chinese MMA. With last night’s victory, Xiaonan is perhaps only one more win away from securing that shot.

With the win, Xiaonan is expected to jump into the top five of the UFC‘s rankings while Gadelha will drop a little. The division is very exciting right now and it seems extremely fluid when it comes to the top contenders.

What’s the state of the UFC’s strawweight division?

Starting at the top, you have Zhang. Zhang has become a superstar for the promotion and was the first Chinese born UFC champion in history. This year, she had what many are considering to be the fight of the year against Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

It was an absolute war and Zhang walked away with the decision. The next fight for the UFC champion seems pretty obvious. Currently, the promotion is targeting a fight between her and former UFC champion, Rose Namajunas. That fight is expected to take place next year.

After those two, the division gets interesting. You have Jedrzejczyk ranked second, however, her next steps aren’t clear. She flirted with retirement, but recently said that she would be fighting again but wants to wait for fans to return before she comes back.

Another former UFC champion is ranked right behind her in Carla Esparza. Esparza is currently on a four fight winning streak that has her knocking on the door for another potential UFC title shot. After Esparza you’ll have Xiaonan, Nina Ansaroff and Michelle Waterson. Tatiana Suarez is also in there, but has been inactive due to injuries.

After last night, I believe that the UFC should look to book Xiaonan against either Jedrzejczyk or Esparza. Whoever they can book her with in early 2021, I try to make that happen. Perhaps on the same card as Zhang and Namajunas with the winners facing off in the summer.

UFC targeting Michelle Waterson – Amanda Ribas

It looks like UFC 257 is going to be getting a fun one in the women’s strawweight division. Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the promotion is close to finalizing a matchup between two top ten strawweights as Michelle Waterson (18-8) will take on Amanda Ribas (10-1).

This one should be a really fun matchup for UFC fans. The Karate Hottie is coming off of a win in her last fight against Angela Hill. The fight was razor close at UFC Vegas 10, but in the end, Waterson was able to pull out the victory by split decision.

Since 2018, Waterson has only lost twice in the UFC. Both of those fights were against former champions, and I believe that she won the fight against Carla Esparza. Waterson is continuing her journey to try to become the first “Mom Champ” in the UFC.

If she is able to pull out the victory on January 23rd, she will be one step closer to fighting for UFC gold. However, her opponent is no cake walk. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if Ribas entered the cage on January 23rd as the betting favorite.

UFC 257 gets a good one

Ribas has stormed onto the UFC over the last 16 months. She’s 4-0 so far in her career with the UFC. In her last fight, she was able to defeat Paige VanZant by first round armbar at UFC 251. However, it was her performance against Mackenzie Dern which raised eyebrows.

Dern was being touted as a top prospect in the strawweight division. However, she was not able to get past Ribas. Ribas controlled their fight and went on to capture the decision victory handing Dern the only loss of her professional career.

Whoever wins at UFC 257 will have made a big statement to the rest of the division. If one of these ladies is able to put on an incredible performance, they could be only a fight or two away from getting a shot at the title.

After UFC Vegas 10 win, what’s next for Michelle Waterson?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 10, The Karate Hottie Michelle Waterson (18-8) snapped her two fight losing streak in an absolute war with Angela Hill (12-9). Waterson struggled early, but really came on strong and won the final three rounds.

With the victory, Waterson has her eyes set on the UFC strawweight title. For the past few years, she’s talked about her desire to be the first mom champ in the UFC. She said in her post-fight interview that she wants to fight someone that gets her closer to the title.

Waterson’s next step towards UFC gold

In looking at the rankings, it’s really tough to figure out what’s next inside the UFC for Waterson. I don’t see Nina Ansaroff, Carla Esparza, or Joanna Jedrzejczyk being options for Waterson. Ansaroff is getting ready to have a baby while Waterson just lost to the other two.

That being said, I think there are two potential UFC matchups for Waterson. The promotion could throw her right into the deep end against Tatiana Suarez (8-0) when Suarez is ready to return from action. Suarez hasn’t fought in over a year due to lingering neck injuries.

If that fight were to come together and Waterson were to win, she’d likely get a title shot. I think a more realistic option would be for Waterson to fight the winner of the Claudia Gadelha – Yan Xiaonan fight that has been rescheduled for November.

Whoever wins that fight will likely be ready to make the jump into or for the top five in the UFC‘s strawweight rankings. I think a matchup between Waterson and the winner could be the best and most realistic next step in Waterson’s journey to become the UFC‘s first mom champ.

Angela Hill after UFC Vegas 10 loss: “I thought I did more damage”

For the second time in the last few months, Angela Hill (12-9) found herself on the wrong end of a split decision. This latest decision came at UFC Vegas 10 when Hill was edged out by Michelle Waterson (18-8). The fight was very close, but it was Waterson who saw her hand raised.

Back at UFC on ESPN 8 back in May, Hill took on former title challenger Claudia Gadelha (18-4). While Hill struggled out of the gate, I think most people believe she took the fight over and deserved that decision. Instead, Gadelha had her hand raised.

Hill’s UFC Future

A disappointed Hill took to the mic after UFC Vegas 10 to voice her disappointment. On the loss, Hill said, “It sucks. definitely thought I did more damage in the fight.” Hill acknowledged that the fight was close, but she thought she did enough. I personally had her wining 48-47.

I agree with Hill in that this fight with Waterson at UFC Vegas 10 was closer than the Gadelha fight. That was a pretty clear win for Hill in my opinion. Last night, I was extremely impressed with Hill early on. Her hands and boxing combinations looked incredible crisp.

I know that it’s tough for a UFC fighter to lose back-to-back fights in this fashion, but I hope Hill comes away proud of those two performances. If just one judge saw the last two fights differently, Hill would be on a five fight winning streak.

Hill vowed to stay ready whenever the UFC has a fight for her. Despite two straight decision losses, I really don’t think that Hill’s stock took a hit. I know she’s not in the top ten according to the rankings, but I firmly believe Angela Hill is one of the top ten strawweights in the world.

UFC Vegas 10 Recap: Michelle Waterson edges Angela Hill in an instant classic

Tonight, the UFC hosted it’s tenth fight night from their APEX facility. It was a night full of fantastic matchups. In the main event of the evening, there was a highly anticipated matchup between strawweights Michelle Waterson (17-8) and Angela Hill (12-8)

The two top 15 UFC strawweights were looking to take the next step towards title contention tonight. Both were coming off of losses in their last UFC contest, but a win for either, would be a big step in the right direction.

Waterson and Hill deliver in an instant classic

Both of these ladies came to fight tonight. The two top UFC strawweight contenders both had big moments in the fight. I was blown away early on by Angela Hill’s hands early on in the fight. In the first round, her hands looked extremely crisp.

Waterson then came back in the second round with some solid adjustments. Hill was still landing big shots, but Waterson shifted to using more of her hands which found her some success. Both ladies were putting on an incredible pace while throwing big shots at the other in the first two rounds.

In the third round, Hill really started letting her hands go. She bloodied Waterson’s nose, but the Karate Hottie landed a big takedown that changed the course of the round. Waterson dominated the third round with her superior grappling.

In the fourth round, Waterson really tried to get the fight back to the ground. However, Hill did a fantastic job of defending. Both ladies had some really good moments on the feet in the fourth round. I had the fight even going into the final round.

The final round featured these top UFC strawweights not giving an inch. Both ladies were throwing everything that they had trying to put a stamp on the victory. The final round was razor close, but I did lean towards Hill with her work in the final minute.

The judges ended up scoring the fight for Michelle Waterson (49-46, 48-47, 47-48). Hill has now lost two straight razor close split decisions that could have gone her way. A massive win for Michelle Waterson who snaps her two fight losing streak.

UFC Vegas 10 Results

UFC Vegas 10 delivered a very solid night of fights. One of the standouts was Bobby Green (27-10-1), who won his third fight in the last three months. Green defeated Alan Patrick by unanimous decision. Last year, Green seemed content with walking away from the sport, and now he’s on a massive career resurgence in 2020.

Andrea Lee (11-5) and Roxanne Modafferi (25-17) had an extremely entertaining fight. The two top ten UFC flyweight contenders went back and forth over three rounds. In the end, Modafferi was able to secure a unanimous decision. The third straight close loss for Lee.

In the co-main event of the evening, Ottman Azaitar (13-0) blew me away. The bulldozer came in undefeated, but he was an underdog to Khama Worthy (16-7) who had won seven straight fights. Azaitar ran through Worthy knocking him out in the first round.

 

UFC Vegas 10: Michelle Waterson and Angela Hill take center stage

Throughout 2020, the UFC has been hit with some cancellations due to COVID-19. However, one that stings really bad is losing the main event for tomorrow night’s fight night. Thiago Santos and Glover Teixiera were due to battle in a title eliminator.

However, after Teixiera tested positive, the UFC pushed the fight back. Now, the UFC has bumped up the co-main event featuring Michelle Waterson (17-8) and Angela Hill (12-8). While not the biggest fight on paper, it’s still expected to deliver a solid fight.

Michelle Waterson vs Angela Hill

This main event pairs two of the top 13 fighters in the women’s strawweight division against each other. For The Karate Hottie, she’s looking to break her current two fight losing streak in the UFC. Both losses came against former champions.

Between 2018 and 2019, Michelle Waterson went on a run in the UFC. She won three consecutive fights including one against former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Following that winning streak, she got a shot against the former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Waterson came up short in that fight as she was outclassed on the feet by the former champion. Then she suffered a split decision loss to Carla Esparza at UFC 249. I personally scored the fight for Waterson. Nevertheless, she will look to break her losing streak.

Angela Hill has really turned a corner over the last 12 months. A year ago today, Hill’s record was 9-7, but she went on a three fight winning streak before fighting Claudia Gadelha back in May. Many people thought she should have won the fight, but she lost a split decision.

To me, this is really a matchup of top ten strawweights. Hill is better than the 13th best in the division. Waterson has put together a solid UFC career so far, but she’s always been fighting above her natural weight class since the promotion doesn’t have atomweight.

Waterson is headlining her third UFC event, and while I think she’s very talented, I think this is a tough matchup. Hill has been doing a very good job of using her lengthy punches in her recent fights. A strategy that should really help her in this one score some points.

I expect both of these ladies to have their moments in this fight. For Waterson, she cannot sit back too much. She needs to be active with kicks to score as much as she can. I just think Hill is ready to take that next step in the strawweight division.

Prediction: Angela Hill by Unanimous Decision

The Rest of UFC Vegas 10

While not the sexiest card the UFC has put together, there are definitely some solid fights up and down the card. I’m anxious to watch the fight between top ten flyweights, Roxanne Modafferi (24-17) and Andrea Lee (11-4). The co-main with Khama Worthy (16-6) and undefeated Ottman Azaitar (12-0) should be fantastic.

The prelims also have some solid action including Roosevelt Roberts (10-2) taking on Matt Frevola (8-1-1). Those two have had some back and forth. Again, not the biggest card in terms of name recognition, but the UFC is putting forth a card that should deliver on action.

UFC: Michelle Waterson & Angela Hill to fight on August 22nd card

A big time UFC strawweight contest is being added to the August 22nd fight card. Eighth ranked, Michelle Waterson (17-8), will be taking on thirteenth ranked, Angela Hill (12-8). The August card is being headlined by a middleweight contest between Yoel Romero and Uriah Hall.

Waterson looks to get back to UFC title contention

Both of these ladies come into this fight with a lot on the line. For the “The Karate Hottie”, she’s looking to snap the first losing streak of her career. Since joining the UFC five years ago, Waterson has consistently been one of the better strawweights in the UFC. Last year, she got the closest she’s been to a title shot with her fight against former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Waterson put up a really tough fight, but the former champion was too much. Waterson recently competed at UFC 249 and was suffered her second consecutive loss to another former champion, Carla Esparza. The decision was razor close and many scored the fight for Waterson.

Hill looking to bounce back

A week after Waterson suffered a tough loss on the scorecards, Angel Hill found herself the victim of a close decision. Hill had won three consecutive fights leading up to her fight against top contender, Claudia Gadelha. After losing the first round, many believed that Hill won the final two rounds to secure the win. However, two of the three judges gave the fight to Gadelha.

Hill got off to a rocky start in the UFC, but she looked like she was finding her groove this year. She won three fights in five months leading to that Gadelha fight. She looked fresh after that fight, and she wanted to get right back in there.

This will be an intriguing matchup for the UFC‘s strawweight division. A win for either woman puts them back on the road to contention. However, a loss for either would be a big setback at this stage in their careers. It should be a very fun matchup to watch when August 22nd rolls around.