On the undercard of this weekend’s UFC Fight Night from The Apex in Las Vegas, Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson-Gomez will battle it out in a strawweight bout for the chance to revive their flagging careers. For the second time in as many years, Rodriguez and Waterson-Gomez will square off against one another, and both will be fighting to keep from falling farther behind in their respective series.
Waterson-Gomez is in a bleak situation. The fact that “The Karate Hottie” deserved to win over Luana Pinheiro at UFC 287 doesn’t change the fact that she is 1-5 in her previous six fights. For all practical purposes, her rematch with Rodriguez will determine the course of her career.
Rodriguez’s situation has not improved much. A third consecutive loss would be disastrous after her last two battles against Amanda Lemos and Virna Jandiroba. Fortunately, she is expected to make a comeback, much to the detriment of a former opponent.
In the first fight between these two, a five-round affair, Rodriguez dominated the first three rounds before tiring and allowing Waterson-Gomez to mount a comeback. Waterson-Gomez was comprehensively outpointed, therefore it was too little, too late.
This time there are three rounds, and neither fighter has changed their strategy since their previous meeting. The combination of Rodriguez’s high volume striking and Waterson-Gomez’s willingness to take punishment in order to wrestle should make this a cakewalk for the judges.
Rodriguez still has more gas in the tank despite the fact that he and his opponent are both well past their prime. With a victory over Waterson-Gomez, she’ll improve her record to 2-0 and get back on track.
Rodriguez outworked Waterson-Gomez effectively in the opening three rounds of their first bout, and while Waterson-Gomez faded terribly after that, she never threatened to steal the contest. Waterson-Gomez failed to win the fight despite having a clear path to victory.
It’s obvious that Rodriguez’s striking prowess is more than enough to take down Waterson-Gomez, and with the fight only lasting three rounds, the conditioning problems that plagued them in their first meeting won’t be an issue again.
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Marina Rodriguez vs Michelle Waterson 2 Fight Information
- Date: 09/23/2023
- Time: 08:00 PM ET
- Location: UFC Apex.
- How to Watch Rodriguez vs Waterson: ESPN+
- Live Stream: BT Sport.com