Nothing over five rounds was easy but Michelle Watson found a way to do enough to win a tough-to-win split decision over Angela Hill in UFC Vegas’s 10 Main Event.
It was a back-and-war battle for all 25 minutes as Waterson and Hill brought each other out completely on the feet and on the ground. While it could have been decided either way, it was Waterson who won with two judges reading 49–46 and 48–47. The third officer gave the fight to Hill with a score of 48–47.
“I believed [in the decision], “Waterson said after he got his hands up.” But we talked about this whole time leading up to the fight, you don’t want to leave it in the hands of the judges. “
In his first main event, Hill was on the attack early and often when he came up with a real ferrous after WhatsApp, combining and throwing a powerful overhand that consistently found a home. By the end of the opening round, after eating several hard peaks from Hill, a mouse formed under Waterson’s eye and swollen on his face.
After starting the fight after throwing more kicks, Waterson decided to test his hands against Hill, but that game’s plan ended midway through the second round.
With Patterson willing to trade shots on the feet, Hill began to open punches, including a stiff right hand for succession, with the former Invicta FC Atomweight champion’s jaw off his face.
As time went on, Hill was getting even more comfortable on the feet while picking and choosing his strikes. An early exchange in round three connected Hill with a punch that immediately caused Watterson’s nose to bleed, as he had actually started to damage.
To his credit, Waterson was then able to secure a takedown where he was able to control Hill on the ground. Waterson was looking to advance his position, establishing consistent submissions, although Hill remained out of any real trouble.
With the battle to advance to the championship round, Waterson showed his main event experience with a volume striking attack topping up his output. Waterson was fast with his punches and was tied with several strong side-kicks that landed on the body and head, which kept Hill in balance.
In the final five minutes, Hill saw that the attacker was kicking the same way with the Watson counter, which continued to pay dividends. Hill’s best combination, in turn, came when she was able to pull Waterson in a boxing exchange, which is when her hands were constantly on target.
As the fight came to a close, Hill and Waterson decided to throw the bus into one last wild pose with the Strowatts after bringing the best from each other for five rounds.
The judges certainly did not have an easy task, but eventually it was Waterson, who was beheaded by two former champions in Joanna Jedrzejski and Carson Esparza to prevent their two-fight defeat after a two-pair defeat.
Overall, Witterson is now 4–2 in her last six encounters and, after winning the main event, she is increasingly finding a way to capture the title.
“Whoever is the next contender to fight for the belt,” Waterson said when asked who she wants to face. “I want to get the belt as soon as possible.”