A fight that many fans have been waiting to see may not be happening. Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Michelle Waterson which is the scheduled main event for this weekend’s UFC Tampa AKA UFC fight night 161 is in danger of being scratched.
Former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk reached out to the UFC last week and informed them that she would not be able to make the strawweight limit of 116 pounds. ( First by Combate) When the UFC found this out they offered Waterson a catchweight bout that both teams would have to agree to, but Waterson’s camp from what I’m told has balked at the offer.
When it comes to fighters missing weight, there is one female on this card that many would have expected because of her history that she would be the 1 that we would be discussing missing the target on the scale. I am of course talking about Mackenzie Dern who has had numerous issues making weight in the past. I spoke with her yesterday as well at the host hotel and just from looking at her I don’t think she’s going to have any problem when she steps on the scale on Friday. She looked to be in phenomenal shape and ready to go to work Saturday night. As I stated she looked in great shape, and if you factor in the fact that four months ago today she gave birth to her 1st child, it’s absolutely amazing to see how good she looked.
If the bout takes place with Joanna coming in heavy, Waterson will be awarded 30% of her opponent’s purse under the Florida state boxing commission rules. More than likely that is one of the reasons Waterston’s camp has said no to fighting at catchweight. I’m guessing she wouldn’t really worry about her opponent being heavier if she’s taking home 30% of her opponent’s purse especially when her opponent is probably going to making a 6 figure pay day for this fight.
Other options out there include scratching the bout altogether and moving it to November which would put Cub Swanson and Kron Gracie in the main event slot.
Both ladies are in Tampa and I spoke with both of them briefly yesterday at the host hotel. I am waiting to hear back from Waterson’s management to see if they have budged on fighting at catchweight or standing their ground and saying no to ccatchweight but yes to the fight with the 30% purse deduction from Jedrzejczyk.
Jedzejczyk who most recently fought as a flyweight in a title bout against Valentina Shevchenko has stated recently that getting to the strawweight limit isn’t easy for her, and it’s unnatural in a statement given to ESPN’s Marc Raimondi.
“It’s been a while [since I’ve cut] to strawweight and I’m just getting older,” said Jedrzejczyk, 32, “We can’t do the weight cut the same time as last time. Our bodies are very smart. I’m not a natural strawweight. I got to the strawweight division five years ago after I signed with the UFC. It’s not natural for me, but I’m doing my best. I always fight two fights. One is before the fight. I’m gonna get there and take care of my business in so many different ways.”
I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground to follow this story as it continues to develop.
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.