Watch Marina Rodriguez vs. Michelle Waterson full fight video highlights from the anticipated main event above, courtesy of ESPN.
Rodriguez vs. Waterson took place May 8 at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. Marina Rodriguez (14-1-2) and Michelle Waterson (18-9) collided in a flyweight contest in the main event, which aired live on ESPN. Catch more video highlights below.
Cómo la tienes hasta ahora??? 3UFCVegas26 pic.twitter.com/w2lkYg4dBE— UFC Español (@UFCEspanol) May 9, 2021
For more on Rodriguez vs. Waterson, check out the live blog from MMA Fighting’s Steven Marrocco.
Tentative start for both fighters, and Waterson tries a left that gets countered quickly by Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s hands sting Waterson after a trade of kicks. Waterson wisely moves back, then surges with another series of kicks. Rodriguez pushes her back with a combo. Waterson tries a spinning backfist on the way in. Rodriguez evades and then lands a stiff right as Waterson approaches. A trade of heavy right hands, and Waterson tries to double up with kicks. Superman punch attempt for Rodriguez, and Waterson fires back with a kick. Rodriguez’s shots land with more authority when they do clash. Waterson tries to land a side kick in transition, and Rodriguez catches it and backs her into a corner, sniping with big punches. Big body kick in close from Rodriguez, then to the legs. Waterson’s counter briefly sweeps Rodriguez off her feet, but she gets up and continues to close. Looking for than big right hand, and Waterson tries up in the clinch. Rodriguez starting to let go with knees and shots in close, but time runs out.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Rodriguez.
Rodriguez active with kicks early. Waterson’s return checked. Single kicks being exchanged, and Rodriguez follows with a right hook that lands. Waterson catches her coming in with a right, then counters punches with kicks. Rodriguez begins to corner Waterson again, and Waterson ducks under. She turns Rodriguez in the clinch, but Rodriguez chases and batters her with punches. She tries to escape, but again, Rodriguez tries up against the fence and starts to work inside with plump secured. But knee in the clinch, and Waterson pulls away. Straight combo of punches from Rodriguez at distance, and Waterson comes back with a side kick. Big right from Rodriguez. Again, Rodriguez closing in slowly. Rodriguez takes a front kick to the face but still manages to clinch up and batter the body with knees. Back in the open, Waterson walks down her foe and fires kicks at distance. Trade of kicks at distance, and Rodriguez goes headhunting only to meet a side kick. She blocks Waterson’s duck-under for a takedown, and she regroups and blitzes with punches before tying up in the clinch and firing a big elbow.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Rodriguez, who’s up 20-18.
Rodriguez counters a low kick and immediately swarms in with punches and a head kick that appears to bounce off Waterson’s head. Waterson ties up and tries to recover. Action stalls, and Waterson’s takedown start fails. Rodriguez goes back to pressing, and she lands a punishing body shot. Another combo of punches, and Waterson is wearing everything. She misses a takedown, and Rodriguez closes in again. Another big flurry from Rodriguez, and Waterson covers up. A kick appears to hurt Rodriguez, who briefly hits the deck, but she pops up as Waterson tries to punish the leg again. She lands another low kick, and Rodriguez closes to use her fists against the cage. She meets a side kick and loads up for a big right. Another flurry in close, and Waterson covers up. Waterson comes back and attacks that leg again, but it’s not long before she’s taking another right hand. Waterson lands a right counter, but it doesn’t make a dent, and Rodriguez again fires off a combo against the cage. Waterson tries to circle away and gets some distrance. But Rodriguez clinches up again and starts to unload. A nice uppercut from Waterson still isn’t enough to deter Rodriguez, who chases her down as time runs out.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Rodriguez, who’s up 30-27.
Waterson’s nose is bleeding. She fires off at distance, hoping to give Rodriguez a reason not to advance. Rodriguez simply won’t be deterred and charges in. Waterson catches her in close with a right and escapes. Her kicks draw another quick flurry of punches, and Rodriguez slaps her up high with a kick. A quick clinch opens a takedown for Waterson, who settles into open guard against the fence. Rodriguez tries to turn off the fence, and Waterson uses her left elbow to land shots. Rodriguez controls the hand and uses her left leg for leverage. Waterson holds strong in half-guard and fires more elbows. Rodriguez tries to explode up, but Waterson has a leg trapped. Another try, and Rodriguez grabs a kimura from the bottom. More lefts overhead for Waterson, who advances to half-guard and pounds away to end the round.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Waterson, and the score is 39-37 Rodriguez.
Waterson more aggressive with a straight jab, and Rodriguez counters low to the body and legs with kicks. Despite the stakes, Waterson still playing things pretty tactical. She avoids a head kick and resets, then catches Rodriguez with a right head kick. Big right from Rodriguez, who’s hurt with a body shot. But Waterson doesn’t appear to know it, and Rodriguez lands a big right hand. Another big one, and Waterson is on the backpedal. Waterson dives for the takedown. Rodriguez’s jaw appears to be injured, but she pushes forward to corner Waterson and fire off big punches. Waterson comes back with a right and kicks before a takedown attempt. Rodriguez has her cornered, and she lands a pair of rights. Less than two minutes...who wants it more? Rodriguez blocks a head kick and goes low with her own kick. Waterson walks into a right hand. Rodriguez turns up the tempo, and Waterson tries to kick her off before peeling off. Another surge from Rodriguez, and she lands a head kick of her own. Rodriguez chases her down and initiates a firefight she wins in the final seconds. Heck of a battle, but Rodriguez takes it.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Rodriguez, who secures the 49-46 decision.
Marina Rodriguez def. Michelle Waterson via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)