Michelle Waterson earned a unanimous decision victory over Felice Herrig tonight in the main card opener at UFC 229 in Las Vegas.
Leg kick for Herrig to start. She takes the center of the Octagon and throws a body kick. On the outside Waterson lands a solid body kick.
Jab for Herrig. Body kick for Waterson. Clipping overhand from Herrig. Side kick attempt to the head from Waterson that’s blocke. Side kick to the body from her afterwards though.
Side kick upstairs from Waterson that’s partially caught by Herrig. Leg kick from Herrig. Side kick to the knee from Waterson.
left hook misses over the top from Herrig. Body kick for Herrig. Another lands. A lull in the action as Waterson circles on the outside.
Series of punches from Herrig and then into the clinch against the cage. Knees being exchanged in close to the body. Waterson tries to reverse position, but Herrig shows her strength as she maintains control.
Herrig trying to drag Waterson to the mat, but nothing doing and she marches her opponent over to the other side of the cage and continues the clinch work. End of the round comes just as Waterson lands a strike to break away and Herrig tries to return fire.
Knees to the body by both fighters as they go to the clinch early in the second round. Herrig walking Waterson up to the cage again. Waterson reverses the position, but not for long as Herrig lands a knee and then shoves her opponent back up against the cage.
Herrig constantly looking for a potential takedown attempt, but so far she’s not been able to do so despite long spells of control.
Waterson manages to get free and lands a strike. Waterson goes to the body. Now Waterson times a nice head and arm throw. In half guard she lands some hard elbows to the head.
Waterson with a shoulder shrug to the head and then moves further up in half guard, gaining a more secure position on top. She looks to pass, but Herrig manages to bring her back to full guard.
Couple of punches for Waterson. Herrig tries to kick her away, but Waterson moves quickly back in. Herrig almost working a triangle attempt, but Waterson is aware and steers just clear of it, though almost ends up in it again as the round ends.
side kick to the body from Waterson. Herrig misses with a punch and Waterson almost lands a head kick. Leg kick for Herrig.
Waterson looks for a takedown, but Herrig manages to end up on top instead. In guard it’s actually Waterson who starts landing offensive elbows from her back.
Not much offense from Herrig so far and then Waterson goes for an omaplata. Herrig gets out, but has to settle for going back to guard now.
Ref thinks there’s a lack of action from Herrig and stands them back up. Waterson looks for a takedown again, but Herrig defends well.
Herrig goes for the clinch and presses Waterson to the cage. Knee for Waterson to the body and breaks free soon afterwards.
Herrig with a few punches to the body. Side kick to the leg from Waterson. Herrig back into the clinch and landing a couple of knees. She lands a left hook as they break apart.
Front kick to the head from Waterson, but Herrig goes into the clinch. Not for long though as they go back to the center of the cage in striking range.
Herrig gets back to the clinch though. Knee to the body from Waterson and then an elbow as she breaks free in the final seconds of the round.
Competitive fight here and the officials are unanimous in their decision that Waterson is the winner (30-26, 29-28, 30-27).