It was probably one of the most intriguing strawweight matchups possible for the UFC’s fledgling division, as it pitted a highly-touted Michelle Waterson against a fan favorite in Rose Namajunas. And it terms of action, UFC on FOX 24’s co-main event did not disappoint.
Though shorter and wielding less range, Waterson came out throwing kicks, targeting Namajunas’ lead leg, but also aiming for anywhere that seemed open. Namajunas ate them, yet got taken down when she came too close. Still, given her long legs, she was able to squirm out from bottom and take Waterson’s back, turning a bad position into a good one. When she went for a choke Waterson scrambled until Namajunas was in her guard, and after mostly stifling her opponent’s offense, she got back up with about a minute left in the round. More kicks, and Namajunas took her down, holding her there until the horn.
The kickfest continued into Round 2, with both ladies throwing and landing, and then… BOOM. Namajunas planted one square against Waterson’s head, dropping her. Namajunas tried to finish her but Waterson survived and got back up, only to have Namajunas take her back while standing. The ensuing choke had the stunned Waterson tapping out.
Great fight, and amazing performance by Namajunas.
Results: Rose Namajunas def. Michelle Waterson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:47, R2