Marina Rodriguez beat Michelle Waterson by unanimous decision tonight in the main event of UFC On ESPN 24, but she had to work hard for her win and took some damage along the way.
Leg kick for Rodriguez knocks Waterson off-balance. She lands one of her own and then a side kick behind it.
Waterson looking to land a punch, but Rodriguez returns fire with a flurry of punches.
Waterson misses with a flurry of strikes, but then lands a side kick upstairs. Rodriguez looking dangerous on the feet early.
Rodriguez lands a body kick. She lands a short right hand as Waterson steps into range. Another hard right for Rodriguez.
Rodriguez misses with a superwoman punch. Waterson with an inside leg kick. She lands another harder than before.
Waterson misses with a leg kick and then spins into another kick behind it. Hard low kick on the outside from Waterson.
Waterson attempts a side kick upstairs. Another leg kick for her and Rodriguez lands a punch and body kick. Waterson with a side kick to the leg that knocks Rodriguez off-balance for a moment.
They go into the clinch late in the round and then Rodriguez throws punches and a good knee upstairs before the bell.
Body kick for Rodriguez and then a leg kick. Side kick upstairs from Waterson. Side kick to the body from Waterson and a punch in response from Rodriguez.
Right hand gets through for Waterson as Rodriguez was also trying to connect. Left hand for Rodriguez.
Rodriguez misses a punch but lands a body kick. Now a couple of punches land. Waterson attempts a takedown, abandons it quickly and tries to land over the top.
Right hook and a left hand from Rodriguez after not quite getting the thai clinch. Rodriguez does now work into the clinch against the cage. Knee for her and then Waterson breaks free.
Glancing punch from Rodriguez. Side kick to the body from Waterson. Nice straight left for Waterson. Now another kick.
Hard body kick for Waterson and then punches. Waterson with a side kick upstairs. Rodriguez into the clinch, but they don’t stay there for long.
Head kick just misses from Waterson. Now a side kick to the knee. Counter leg kick from Rodriguez. More leg kicks land for her.
Rodriguez presses forward looking to land a punch, but Waterson’s side kick keeps her at bay. Waterson tries for a takedown, but nothing doing.
Rodriguez presses forward with a series of punches. Waterson starting to bleed from the nose. Rodriguez with a knee and a chopping elbow strike as the round is drawing to a close.
Waterson attempts a stomping kick but gets knocked off-balance to the mat in the process. Rodriguez lands a kick upstairs and Waterson clinches up against the cage.
Knee for Waterson as she gets back out of the clinch. Body strike for Rodriguez. Now a flurry of punches and a knee upstairs. More punches come behind that. Waterson survives though.
Hooks for Rodriguez now. Side kick to the knee sends Rodriguez to the mat for a second and then she follows up with a stepping kick as she gets back upright.
Another leg kick for Waterson. Right hook from Rodriguez. Side kick to the body from Waterson. Two right hands from Rodriguez.
Leg kick for waterson. Knee to the body from Rodriguez and then punches. Waterson with a leg kick. Side kick upstairs from Waterson.
Hard right hand from Rodriguez. Now a left hand to the chin from her. Head kick attempt is blocked, but then a powerful punch series.
Body kick from Waterson. leg kick from Rodriguez. Knee upstairs and punches from Rodriguez. Uppercut from Waterson. Rodriguez still marching forward throwing heavy leather. Waterson tries to get her away with a side kick. Waterson lands a punch, but Rodriguez is relentless as the round ends.
Body kick from Waterson. Leg kick for Rodriguez. Another leg kick for her. And again. she keeps going for that. She tries to let her hands go, but Waterson lands a jab.
Body kick for Waterson. Low kick lands and Rodriguez throws punches. Head kick from Rodriguez. Waterson goes in for a takedown and lands it nicely.
Waterson transitioning to half-guard. She lands an elbow. Waterson takes her time and then starts to land some significant ground and pound.
Rodriguez trying to work a kimura, but nothing really doing there and she lets go as Waterson lands more strikes. Waterson traps an arm and lands some elbows at the end of the round.
Kick to the body from Rodriguez. Waterson with a kick upstairs. Body kick from Waterson. left hand from Rodriguez, but the kick behind it doesn’t connect.
Leg kick slickly followed by one upstairs from Waterson that does land cleanly. Rodriguez with swelling to the jaw now. Side kick to the body from Waterson and Rodriguez didn’t react well to that for a moment, but then regrouped.
The action is intensifying in this final round. Rodriguez goes to the body. Again she digs to the body. Now a leg kick and Waterson responds in kind.
Head kick attempt from Waterson. Now a side kick to the knee. Right hook from Rodriguez as Waterson pressed forward.
Side kick to the body from Waterson. Rodriguez lands a body kick. Another side kick for Waterson. leg kick from Rodriguez then a punch and knee. Rodriguez with a head kick that lands. Right hand for Waterson after missing a kick. Hook for Rodriguez and one final kick upstairs. We’re headed to the scorecards.
Fun fight then and a great effort from both ladies considering this was put together on short notice. Waterson had her moments, particularly in the later stages of the fight, but only the fourth round was clearly in her favor and in the end it’s Rodriguez’s powerful striking that earns her a unanimous decision victory (48-47, 49-46 x2).