Michelle Waterson edged out a close fight with Cortney Casey by split decision tonight on the main card of UFC On FOX 29.
Waterson with the leg kick. Another lands. Now a body kick as Casey steps forward. Back to the leg kick and then one upstairs that’s blocked.
Casey taking the center of the Octagon, but yet to find her range and land her own strikes. She starts to let a few punches fly. In the clinch she lands a couple of knees and short punches, then Waterson breaks free.
Casey with a leg kick now. Waterson looking for punches, but its Casey that clips her with a hook and that puts ‘The karate Hottie’ in reverse hear.
Huge right hand for Casey that staggers Waterson for a moment. They go back into the clinch, but soon seperate. Casey much the bigger of the two and its already showing in the early striking exchanges – when she lands its visibly hurting Waterson.
hard right for Casey. Waterson stumbles accidentally and falls to the mat, but gets straight back up. In the clinch Waterson goes for a trip takedown and lands it.
Waterson in side control and Casey trying for an armbar. Waterson escapes though and avoids a triangle choke attempt as she moves back to inside the guard of her opponent.
Waterson works a few ground and pound strikes and then goes back to her feet as the round draws to a close.
Leg kick for Waterso. Now an oblique kick from Casey. Again with leg kicks from Waterson. Right hooks land for Casey and that backs Waterson up against the cage.
In the clinch Waterson attempts to transition, but Casey outmuscles her. Waterson lands a couple of elbows and then gets away.
Right hand for Waterson lands. She circles around the cage with Casey in pursuit. Right hook lands for Casey. More punches land and each time seem to knock Waterson off-balance slightly.
However, Waterson then goes for the takedown and lands it. she’s working in the guard and Casey thinks about a submission, then abandons it. Waterson pressing her up against the cage now.
Casey tries for an armbar, but Waterson stays patient and escapes. Now Casey trying for an omaplata, but it doesn’t work out either and Waterson remains on top for now.
Final minute of the round. Casey tries to reverse her position and is unsuccessful, but soon after she works the armbar and it’s tigher this time. Waterson moves position though and escapes again.
Finally they return to their feet and go back to striking. Waterson lands a kick that knocks Casey off-balance and she stumbles backwards before righting herself.
leg kick for Waterson. Nice head kick lands for Waterson, but now with much power behind it. Leg kick for Casey. A couple of punches and a body kick from Waterson.
Right hand partially gets through for Casey. Now a harder right connects. Casey with a few more punches as she moves into the clinch. However, Waterson turns her around against the cage. They continue to jockey for position there and then break away.
Casey attempts a head kick, but it’s slow and its blocked. Casey wading forward a little clumsily and they clinch up, with Waterson soon after landing another takedown.
Immediately Casey rolls for an armbar attempt. It’s a dangerous spot for Waterson, but she manages to break free. Now Casey going for a leg lock and again Waterson defends well.
Casey gets back to her feet and Waterson immediately lands a good punch. Straight punches for Casey now. Side kick to the body for Waterson.
Casey steps in and Waterson working for a takedown. Casey sprawls as Waterson continues to drive to complete the takedown. It doesn’t work out for her though and Waterson ends up turtled with Casey on top in the final minute of the round.
Tense moments for Waterson as Casey starts working for another armbar attempt and this is the most dangerous one yet. Final seconds of the round and Waterson is hanging on in desparation as Casey starts to part her grip and tries to finish the submission, but she’s beaten by the clock and we are headed to a judges decision!
Good fight here with both ladies having their moments. Casey was clearly landing the harder shots on the feet and also had some good submission attempts, but Waterson was good in the clinch, landed multiple takedowns and had more control on top as well as showing good submission defense.
In the end the judges don’t agree on who should be the winner, but it’s Waterson who emerges with the split decision victory (29-28 x2, 28-29).