UFC Fight Night: Waterson vs Hill will take place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas on Sunday, September 13 at 10am AEST.
Here are our best bets and prediction for the UFC Women’s Strawweight bout between Michelle Waterson and Angela Hill.
Michelle Waterson vs Angela Hill
Waterson and Hill were originally booked to fight in late August but it was postponed; that postponement sees them in the main event slot with Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira having to make way with Teixeira testing positive to COVID-19. Both Waterson and Hill come off losses in their most recent fights, which makes this vitally important to both women as they look to bounce back.
It has been almost 18 months since ‘The Karate Hottie’ won a fight; she defeated Karolina Kowalkiewicz on March 30, 2019 via unanimous decision. That was her third-straight win in the UFC, but her momentum was stopped at her next fight against former UFC Women’s Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She then suffered a controversial split decision loss to Carla Esparza at UFC 249 back in May. Currently ranked #8 in the division, Waterson will be looking to avoid a three-fight losing streak against Hill.
Hill is on the verge of the top 10, currently sitting #13 and victory in this bout would likely see her break into the top 10. The former kickboxing champion hasn’t been able to reach the heights she would have hoped for since joining the UFC in 2017. She put together three-straight wins between September-February before a split decision loss to Claudia Gadelha.
Taking on perennial top-five fighter Gadelha in May, Hill went the distance but was on the wrong side of the judge’s scorecards with two of the three scoring it 29-28 for Gadelha. Most MMA fans however disagreed with the decision and sided with Sal D’Amato who had scored it 29-28 for Hill. There isn’t anything Hill can do about that fight and will look towards the main event.
Can Hill claim the biggest win of her career or will Waterson stop her two-fight slide and get back on track as she tries to earn a crack at the title? We have to go with Hill in this fight. Waterson isn’t suited against an offensive fighter that applies pressure and Hill fits that mould. Expect Hill to come out aggressive early and look to take the decision out of the judges’ hands. However, we don’t believe Hill will be able to stop Waterson with striking. Waterson has only suffered one knockout defeat in her career and it’s unlikely to happen again this Sunday.