Joanna Jedrzejczyk earned a unanimous decision victory over Michelle Waterson at UFC Fight Night 161 on Saturday in a performance that might earn her another shot at the women’s strawweight title in the near future.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk Aspen Ladd
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (left) wants a title shot after defeating Michelle Waterson (right) on Saturday night. (Image: Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports)

Jedrzejczyk was in control through most of the fight, winning handily on all three judges’ scorecards (50-45, 50-45, 49-46).

Jedrzejczyk Dominates, Avoids Serious Injury

For most of the fight, Jedrzejczyk (16-3) was the far better fighter, dominating the striking contest throughout the five rounds.

Waterson (17-7) did have her moments, and could have potentially stolen the fight despite being bloodied throughout the bout. Late in the third round, Waterson took Jedrzejczyk’s back and looked for a rear choke to force a submission. But the former champion was able to escape, and after that, had little trouble winning the final two rounds.

After the fight, Jedrzejczyk said that her vintage performance came despite the fact she was fighting with a severe injury for much of the bout.

“I fought with a broken foot since the end of the second round, beginning of the third,” she said afterwards. “It was hard.”

The foot was severely swollen after the fight and clearly looked injured, though Jedrzejczyk said Monday that x-rays revealed there wasn’t actually a break. She now sees a title shot against Zhang Weili (20-1) as the best option for her next bout.

“I had a few interviews with the Chinese outlets, and they asked me about that fight,” Jedrzejczyk said after the fight. “They want this fight to happen in Poland. Let’s do it in the National Stadium for 60,000 people. Let’s wait for Spring. I will heal my foot. Of course, Weili is the champ, it’s her decision, but let’s make this happen.”

Waterson was predictably frustrated with the loss, saying that faulty execution played a big role in the one-sided outcome.

“My intention wasn’t to come out here tonight and absorb a lot of damage,” Waterson told reporters. “I know what I did wrong. I was reaching [for takedowns] instead of setting them up, and we got stuck on the cage and I was getting caught.”

Ladd to Appeal TKO Loss

No. 4 women’s bantamweight contender, Aspen Ladd (8-1), is planning to appeal her 16-second TKO loss to Germaine de Randamie in July before the California State Athletic Commission on Tuesday. The hope is that the fight result can be changed to a no contest, which would preserve Ladd’s undefeated record.

In the bout in question, de Randamie landed a flush right-handed punch in the first seconds of the fight, sending Ladd to the floor with her back turned. De Randamie then attempted to follow up the strike, with referee Herb Dean stepping in to stop the fight at the same time, preventing the blow from being landed cleanly.

Ladd immediately contested the decision with Dean. The most popular opinion appeared to be that Dean’s stoppage may have come early, but that it likely would have come quickly thereafter in any case.

“I think it was a good stoppage because I really, really rocked her with the punch,” De Randamie told ESPN after the bout. “Then I threw another punch and if Herb Dean wasn’t gonna step in, I was going to step in, I was going to jump on top of her and finish the fight anyways. Why do more damage?”