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FSM Essential Recap: UFC Fight Night – Waterson vs Hill – 9/12/2020

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Another night of fights is in the books and we were treated to some entertaining performances from start to finish.

 

In the main event of the night, Michelle Waterson (17-8) saw her hand raised in a split decision victory over Angela Hill (12-8) in a five-round battle from bell to bell.

 

Waterson vs Hill
Photo Credit: MMA Fighting

The ladies took center stage for UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ and did not disappoint. Both looked to get back in the winners’ circle after falling short during their last times out. From the beginning, it was clear that Hill possessed more power because she would land a clean strike, and Waterson would have to back up and try to regroup. But in return, saying she wanted to “get dirty and fight back,” The Karate Hottie Waterson” didn’t back down and exchanged blows with Hill, taking them both to the distance and in the clinch.

Hill landing the more powerful strikes while Waterson put together more combinations was the theme of the first five rounds. There were times where Waterson looked to engage and get a takedown, but most of the groundwork wouldn’t do significant damage.

On the flip side, Waterson did take the back of Hill late in the match, which looked like it could be the end, but Hill fought her off and got the fight back to its feet. Finding a home for her right hand, Hill would have moments going upstairs with overhand rights and kicks, and knees to the body that looked as if she might be able to finish Waterson. But the heart of a warrior can be seen on display when they have to overcome adversity.

 

Waterson vs Hill
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

While showing damage from Hill’s strikes on her face (bleeding from the nose, left eye swelling, and a mouse on the right side of her forehead), Waterson would continue to fight back with her signature kicks, both to the legs and body of her opponent. She would also utilize movement, combinations, and mix in some takedown attempts to keep Hill guessing what was coming next. As the match went into the fourth and fifth rounds, it was evident that Hill, who hadn’t been in a five-round bout since 2016, was slowing down her output, which gave Waterson the opening she needed to advance on the judges’ scorecards.

An excellent showing by both women, Waterson is clearly one of the top fighters in her division but needs to improve her strength and grappling ability if she is to make it past some of the competition in front of her for a shot at the title. Hill is one of the most active fighters on the roster, as this was her fourth bout of 2020. But she needs to work on her conditioning and grappling defense, which she admitted is a hole she is continuously working improve. Neither has a clear standout opponent on the horizon, so it’s back to the drawing board and staying healthy for when the call comes in for their next bout.

 

In the co-main event we saw a clear case of “fighters don’t get paid by the hour.”

 

Ottman Azaitar (13-0 10 KOs/TKOs) earned his 12th finish and 10th in the first round as he bulldozed over Khama Worthy (16-7).

 

Photo Courtesy MMA Fighting

In only his second showing in the UFC, Azaitar showed his aggressive style and heavy hands as he immediately jumped on his opponent with constant pressure, hooks on the inside, and a relentless attack that would’ve stopped many fighters in their tracks. He may be young in the promotion, but after two first-round finishes, the Moroccan fighter is here to make a name for himself and isn’t taking any prisoners along his way up the ladder. It’s a steep and talent-rich division at 155lbs and looks like it just added another future contender to its list.

Also, gaining a win on the card was Roxanne Modafferi (25-17) over Andrea Lee (11-5) via unanimous decision. The 37-year-old gutted out another victory in her long career, since returning to the promotion in 2017.  Modafferi has gone 3-3 but has proven to be one of the more formidable fighters in the division, as is evident by her being finished only four times in 42 outings. Two of her losses came against opponents who missed weight. A fan favorite for her positive attitude and her character dress ups during weigh-ins, Modafferi could see herself face a step up in competition in her next outing to see if she has one more run in her for a title shot.

 

We were also treated to a fantastic Kimura Submission by Ed Herman (26-14 14 SUBs) over Mike Rodriguez (11-5) in the 3rd round. There was some controversy as the referee called a break in the action when it appeared Herman got hit low by a knee in the clinch. The replay showed Rodriguez landing a knee to the body, and it should’ve been a stoppage to the fight, resulting in a finish win for Rodriguez. Nonetheless, both came out for round three.  Rodriguez again looked like he would get a stoppage win, but when the fight hit the mat, the veteran Herman got a hold of his left arm and shortly after earned his 14th submission victory.

Speaking of active, Bobby Green (27-10) got his third win in four months as he got a decision victory over Alan Patrick (15-3).

 

Another good night of fights in the books as the UFC continues to entertain us week after week during this period we’ve been in. The night was fun and exciting and we were entertained by some fantastic performances.

 

Be sure to stay tuned on franchisesportsmedia.com for the latest in MMA and Las Vegas Sports.

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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media

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