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Editor's note: ESPN is reporting that the main event is in jeopardy.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Michelle Waterson are both chasing a title shot. One is slowly inching her way up while the other is eager to regain the belt. The Amalie Center in Tampa, Florida, will play host to this exciting strawweight encounter with title ramifications. Get an idea on who has the upper hand through the numbers below.
UFC strawweight rankingWith the likes of Nina Ansaroff and Tatiana Suarez making their way up the strawweight ladder, Jedrzejczyk has been bumped down to No. 5 in the rankings. She dropped two title fights to Rose Namajunas while the woman she had previously defeated, Jessica Andrade, remains the No. 1 contender after losing the belt to Zhang Weili. A win over Waterson should get her any of the aforementioned 115ers for her next assignment.
Meanwhile, Waterson is currently on a surge, having gone undefeated in her last three fights. She is now ranked seventh at strawweight, and with a convincing win over Jedrzejczyk she could propel herself even closer to the top.
Knockout rateJedrzejczyk likes to pepper her opponents with strikes, and on four occasions has been able to drop and stop them. With a total of 15 career victories, she registers a 27 percent knockout rate. Waterson, on the other hand, owns three wins by KO or TKO out of a total of 17 career wins, giving her an 18 percent knockout rate.
Submission rateWaterson is a jiu-jitsu purple belt who has been putting her ground game to good use in MMA. Nine out of her 17 wins have come by submission, including submission wins over Paige VanZant and Angela Magana in UFC competition. That makes for a 53 percent submission rate. Jedrzejczyk, by contrast, is not too keen on submissions and has only scored one in her entire career. That’s a seven percent submission rate for the accomplished kickboxer.
Post-fight bonusesJedrzejczyk may have a lot of decision wins on her resume but that doesn’t mean she isn’t capable of turning in exciting performances. The assertive Polish striker likes to smother opponents with her presence, and her sheer grit and aggressiveness have afforded her Fight of the Night (versus Jessica Penne and Claudia Gadelha) and Performance of the Night (versus Carla Esparza) bonuses.
For Waterson, you only need to look at her stoppage rate to know how much thrill she brings into the cage. She’s only earned one post-fight bonus in the UFC, which was a Performance of the Night citation she earned by choking out VanZant at the main event of UFC on Fox 22, but in Invicta FC, where she held the atomweight title, Waterson received two Fight of the Night (versus Lacey Schuckman and Herica Tiburcio) bonuses.