Set to fight against Michelle Waterson in the UFC Tampa main event, Joanna Jędrzejczyk was keen to reclaim dominance over the rest of the 115-pound division. And that, she did. Not once did she falter during the 25 minutes of combat. The Polish fighter proved her superiority in strike selection, as she bloodied the very brave Waterson.
At the end of the five rounds of the main event, the judges had no choice but to declare Joanna the winner by unanimous decision (50-45 x 2, 49-46). Backstage, the former champion admitted that she broke her foot in the third round, before praising her opponent:
"I expected that she was going to clinch more, but I was ready. She (Michelle Waterson) surprised me, she’s such a warrior, but I knew that she was going to be in the best shape ever. I feel like my grappling, my wrestling is improving every day. The future is very clear, I’m going for the strawweight belt. I’m very happy that I’m back on the winning track. I cannot wait to step back into the Octagon and face the champion."
For the former champion, this victory represents another step towards a new title shot, in a division that has undergone some changes since the end of her reign. Indeed, after Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade, it is now the Chinese fighter Zhang Weili who proudly wears the strawweight belt around her waist. A new challenge for Joanna, who intends to climb back to the top of her division.