A strawweight bout between Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Michelle Waterson will headline UFC Fight Night 161 on Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
Neither the prelims (5 p.m. ET) or the main card (8 p.m. ET) will be on TV in the US, but you can watch the entirety of both cards live on ESPN+, the digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage of UFC and other live sporting events, all the 30-for-30 documentaries and other original content for $4.99 per month.
You can sign up for a month or year of ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of Joanna vs Waterson and all the UFC Tampa fights on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
UFC Fight Night Tampa 2019 Preview
Jędrzejczyk (15-3 in MMA, 9-3 in the UFC) claimed the strawweight title in her third fight with the promotion, then successfully defended the belt five times before a pair of losses to Rose Namajunas.
She got back into the win column in July 2018, besting Tecia Torres via unanimous decision at UFC on Fox: Alvarez vs. Poirier 2.
Five months later, she jumped up a weight class in an attempt to claim the vacant flyweight belt, but dropped a unanimous decision to Valentina Shevchenko.
“After my victory over Michelle Waterson, I’m going for the belt,” Jędrzejczyk told ESPN. “It doesn’t matter if this fight is going to be a week later. Or a month or two months. I’m going for the belt. Dana promised me that fight after [I beat] Tecia Torres, but then it was the superfight with Valentina Shevchenko.
“After that fight, I took a break. I wanted to reset my body, physically, mentally, after working for so many years. I’m here — ready. More than ready. I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m going for that belt.”
On Wednesday, multiple outlets reported that Jędrzejczyk had informed the UFC that she wouldn’t be able to make the strawweight limit for non-title fights, 116 pounds. But later that day, the 32-year-old disputed the notion that she wouldn’t make weight.
“Did I miss something, were the weigh-ins today? It’s Wednesday,” she said, per ESPN. “The weigh-ins are Friday, right? I had a good night’s sleep last night. Let’s stay calm. I’m focused on my final weight cut.”
On Friday, both fighters made weight.
The 33-year-old Waterson (17-6, 4-2) is riding a three-fight winning streak, having secured decision victories over Cortney Casey, Felice Herrig, and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
“This camp has been immaculate,” the former Invicta FC atomweight champion said Thursday, according to MMA Junkie. “All of my coaches and teammates have all just been vibing so well this camp. I’m actually really excited that I get five rounds with Joanna.”
Main Card (8 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs. Michelle Waterson, women’s strawweight
Cub Swanson vs. Kron Gracie, featherweight
Niko Price vs. James Vick
Mackenzie Dern vs. Amanda Ribas, women’s strawweight
Matt Frevola vs. Luis Pena, lightweight
Eryk Anders vs. Gerald Meerschaert, middleweight
Preliminary Card (5 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
Ryan Spann vs. Devin Clark, light heavyweight
Thomas Gifford vs. Mike Davis, lightweight
Max Griffin vs. Alex Morono, welterweight
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Tim Elliott, flyweight
Marlon Vera vs. Andre Ewell, bantamweight
Miguel Baeza vs. Hector Aldana, welterweight
Marvin Vettori vs. Andrew Sanchez, middleweight
JJ Aldrich vs. Lauren Mueller, women’s flyweight