Ultimate Fighting Championship is right back at it again as UFC Vegas 10 is set to go down later tonight (Sat., Sept. 12, 2020) inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. The revamped main event will see Michelle Waterson take on Angela Hill, while the co-main will feature Ottman Azaitar taking on Khama Worthy.
Michelle Waterson was at one time receiving major push from the promotion, but despite all of the PR love UFC matchmakers never gave “Karate Hottie” her much-desired title shot. And there was a time when she may have deserved it after racking up three straight wins over Cortney Casey, Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. She would have definitely punched her invite to the big dance had she defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk shortly after taking out Karolina, but “JJ” ultimately took home the unanimous decision. Seven months after that “Karate Hottie” suffered her second straight loss, this time to another former Strawweight champion in Carla Esparza. Staring down the barrel of three-straight losses, a title shot is no longer in Waterson’s immediate future and becoming UFC’s first-ever “Mom Champ” will have to wait a bit longer, though it seems Amanda Nunes may have beaten her to the punch. Pun intended.
Still, Waterson needs a win pretty badly here if she wants to prevent falling further down the ladder, and getting the “W” over Angela Hill will not be a walk in the park. “Overkill” recently saw her three-fight win streak go out the window after losing a questionable split-decision to Claudia Gadelha. Prior to that, Hill racked up back-to-back-to-back wins in the span of six months. A win over Waterson will likely catapult “Overkill” into the Top 10 and set her up for big fights down the road. I’d give the striking advantage to Hill here for one reason: She isn’t afraid to let her hands fly. Now, I’m not saying Waterson is, but she is a more tactical striker, while Hill is willing to engage in toe-to-toe striking and take a few more risks. If she can impose her will and set a brawl-like pace, it won’t bode well for Waterson. That being said, Waterson — who has a distinct advantage on the ground — proved she can hang with the best of them on the feet in her fight against Jedrzejczyk. Furthermore, “Karate Hottie” knows that is the criticism that is mostly thrown her way, which is why she vowed to fight more freely this time around.
It’s just not a very well-balanced card. Again, chalk it up to COVID-19 which forced UFC officials to move fights around and cost this event in particular its main event, which we will discuss in the next segment.
Original Card vs Actual Card:
The main event was originally set to feature a Light Heavyweight bout between former title contenders Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira. But after Teixeira tested positive for coronavirus, the bout was subsequently moved to go down on Oct. 3, 2020, though it will be playing second fiddle to Holly Holm vs Irene Aldana. As a result, Waterson and Hill were bumped up to headline this event. Ed Herman was originally set to face Gerald Meerschaert at this event, but after Meerschaert pulled out, he was replaced by John Allan. In turn, Allan pulled out due to visa issues and was replaced by Mike Rodriguez.
A fight between Khama Worthy and Ottman Azaitar was set to go down last week at UFC Vegas 9, but was ultimately shifted over to this card. Bobby Green agreed to step in on short notice to take on Alan Patrick after Rodrigo Vargas bowed out of the fight for undisclosed reasons. Sijara Eubanks was originally set to face Macy Chiasson, and then Karol Rosa on this card, but was eventually booked against Julia Avila after a few hiccups along the way. Also, Frank Camacho was forced out of his fight against Brok Weaver after he tested positive for COVID-19. Jalin Turner agreed to take the fight on short notice.
On Friday, flyweight veteran Matt Schnell was forced out of his fight against Tyson Nam after he collapsed during the weight-cutting process, which led to him hitting his head on the scale and experiencing concussion-like symptoms.
Roque Martinez was a late addition to the event, as the UFC rookie was booked to face Alexander Romanov just three days ago. Winner of two straight, Martinez is coming out of RIZIN, where he amassed a 5-2 mark with one of his wins coming against Jerome LeBanner, while one of his losses came at the hands of living MMA legend, Mirko Filipovic.
Martinez will face off against Romanov, who will also be making his UFC debut after his original first UFC fight against Marcos Rogerio de Lima — which was set to go down at UFC Vegas 9 last week — was scratched due to COVID-19. Romanov is undefeated at 11-0 and has a distinct advantage with his size and wrestling.
To get a better look at both men click HERE.
How The ‘Prelim’s’ Look:
Sijara Eubanks’ quest to finally get to a title fight has proven to be rather tough after going just 1-2 in her last three fights. After several changes, “Sarj” was finally able to lock down an opponent in the form of Julia Avila for this event, and it could very well be an even better match up since Avila always comes to brawl, something Eubanks doesn’t shy away from.
Bobby Green will make a quick turnaround after competing just last month as he steps in to face Alan Patrick. Green has had a nice turnaround, winning two straight after losing five of seven prior. He has shown signs of that brilliance that made him a threat under the Strikeforce banner, as well as in his first four fights inside the Octagon. Handing Patrick his second straight loss would be huge for “King” since he will earn his first three-fight win streak in six years.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
This slot goes to Waterson. “Karate Hottie” can’t afford to suffer three straight defeats. As stated earlier, UFC hasn’t been afraid to show her some PR love, but when a fighter is losing on a consistent basis, that extra love can only be justified for so long. Waterson is highly talented and if she can put it all together, let her hands fly and not overthink things, she can definitely be a force in the division. While she won’t get her pink slip should she suffer her third straight defeat, it could prompt a move up to Flyweight.
Interest Level: 5 out of 10
In the co-main event of the event, Khama Worthy will look to earn his eighth-straight win when he takes on Ottman Azaitar. Undefeated at 12-0, Azaitar made good on his UFC debut last September after knocking out Teemu Packalen in the very first round at UFC 242. In further main card action, Roxanne Modafferi will face off against Andrea Lee in women’s Flyweight action. Modafferi hasn’t been able to find a groove so far inside the Octagon, alternating wins and losses since 2017 to earn a 3-4 record. She is coming off a loss to Lauren Murphy so if history holds up she is due for a win against Lee. It won’t come easy as “KGB” is hungry for a win herself after suffering back-to-back losses.
In further main card action, Ed Herman will look to collect his third straight win when he takes on late replacement, Mike Rodriguez, after two of his previously-scheduled opponents bowed out. Rodriguez, a “Contender Series” alum, is coming off an impressive knockout win over Marcin Prachnio just a few weeks ago at UFC on ESPN 15.
Billy Quarantillo is on quite a run, winning seven straight fights dating back four years. Quarantillo is 2-0 so far inside the Octagon and has shown flashes of brilliance within a stacked lightweight division. For now, slow and steady is the pace for Billy who fill face off against Kyle Nelson, a man who recently snapped his two-fight losing streak after defeating Marco Polo Reyes last September.
Enjoy the fights!
Full Fight Card:
UFC Vegas 10 Main Event on ESPN+:
115 lbs.: Michelle Waterson vs. Angela Hill
UFC Vegas 10 Main Card on ESPN+ (8 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Ottman Azaitar vs. Khama Worthy
125 lbs.: Andrea Lee vs. Roxanne Modafferi
205 lbs.: Ed Herman vs. Mike Rodriguez
155 lbs.: Alan Patrick vs. Bobby Green
145 lbs.: Kyle Nelson vs. Billy Quarantillo
UFC Vegas 10 Prelims Card on ESPN+ (5 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: Tyson Nam vs. Matt Schnell — SCRATCHED (full details here)
165 lbs.: Brok Weaver vs. Jalin Turner (catchweight)
170 lbs.: Bryan Barberena vs. Anthony Ivy
155 lbs.: Roosevelt Roberts vs. Kevin Croom
265 lbs.: Roque Martinez vs. Alexander Romanov
125 lbs.: Justine Kish vs. Sabina Mazo
135 lbs.: Julia Avila vs. Sijara Eubanks
***Fight card, bout order and the amount of matches subject to drastic change because of the various global quarantine restrictions.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 10 fight card this weekend right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN+ 8 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 10: “Waterson vs. Hill” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.