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Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Michelle Waterson - 3/30/19 UFC on ESPN 2 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Michelle Waterson
Date & Time Saturday March 30, 2019, 8:00 PM (EDT)
Location
Wells Fargo Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Line
The Line: Waterson +133 / Kowalkiewicz -147 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
ESPN
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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Michelle Waterson fight Saturday during UFC on ESPN 2 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz enters this fight with a 12-3 record and has won 75 percent of her fights by decision. Kowalkiewicz has split her last six fights and is coming off a September loss to Jessica Andrade. Kowalkiewicz is averaging 5.76 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 39 percent. Kowalkiewicz is averaging 0.14 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 14 percent. Kowalkiewicz is coming off her first knockout loss of her career after eating a right hand to the chin and dropping to the canvas. Kowalkiewicz didn’t look like her normal self in the fight, as she was a bit passive and didn’t take advantage of counter opportunities. Kowalkiewicz is usually highly aggressive in the octagon, constantly coming forward looking to land combinations and even throwing in hard knees when in the clinch. A tough Polish fighter, there’s usually not a moment in fights where Kowalkiewicz isn’t looking to land something, which is why she’s won nine of her 10 career decisions. Kowalkiewicz isn’t a finisher, but she stays busy and has a brawler type feel to her style. Hopefully, Kowalkiewicz brings that to the octagon this time around and the KO loss didn’t change her approach. This will be Kowalkiewicz’s first career fight in Pennsylvania.

Michelle Waterson enters this fight with a 16-6 record and has won 56 percent of her fights by submission. Waterson has won four of her last six fights and is coming off an October win over Felice Herrig. Waterson is averaging 3.98 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 62 percent. Waterson is averaging 2.18 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 63 percent. Waterson has put together back-to-back impressive decision victories and now has a chance to win three straight fights for the first time since her Invicta FC days. Waterson is fresh off a fight in which she landed 262 strikes and simply outworked her opponent. Waterson is a super athletic fighter with a black belt in karate and a background in kickboxing, so leg kicks are a huge part of her game and she’s extremely quick and accurate. Waterson is also highly successful with her takedown attempts and has nine career submission victories, so she’s a very balanced fighter who loves finding an armbar hold to finish a fight. This will be Waterson’s first career fight in Pennsylvania.

I’m actually surprised we’re getting Waterson as an underdog, as I can make a strong case she’s the better, more polished fighter. Kowalkiewicz looked gun-shy in her last fight and there’s a history of fighters being even more timid when fresh off a knockout loss. When Kowalkiewicz is at her best, she’s highly aggressive and a bit wild, and while effective offensively, she can take a lot of damage on counters. Waterson is crazy athletic, super effective with her leg kicks and would have a considerable advantage if this fight goes to the canvas. In other words, I’d give Waterson the edge no matter where this fight ends up, as long as she stays out of the clinch and avoids those hard knees to the gut.

I love getting Waterson at this price.

Pick:
Michelle Waterson +133

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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