5 burning questions heading into UFC on ESPN+ 19
The UFC train keeps rolling, and Tampa is the next stop.
Amalie Arena is the host for Saturday night’s UFC on ESPN+ 19, which is headlined with an intriguing matchup of top strawweight contenders in former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and aspiring titleholder Michelle Waterson.
After the truly intriguing headliner, it’s the usual fight-night-level fare: A bout that isn’t incredibly deep at first glance, but with a handful of interesting plot lines when you looked beneath the surface.
UFC on ESPN+ 19 takes place Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. The card streams on ESPN+.
With that, here are five burning questions as the UFC heads to the Sunshine State:
What’s going on with Joanna Jedrzejczyk?
Fight week in Tampa took quite an eventful turn when reports surfaced that former strawweight champion Jedzejczyk (15-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) — who has never missed weight over the course of her career, but has also had some unhealthy-looking weigh-ins along the way — wasn’t going to be able to make 116 pounds.
When Waterson’s camp refused to accommodate her opponent on a catchweight, JJ decided she could make weight after all, and then got snippy with reporters who at Wednesday’s media day when they tried to ask what happened.
So, what was going on, here? Was this all simply a big miscommunication? Was it a whole lot of noise about nothing? Or, is a fighter who not all that long ago was an undefeated and seemingly untouchable champion now getting a little desperate, having lost three out of her past four fights? And if so, was this a failed attempted a gaming the system, as Jedrezjczyk, who fought for the flyweight belt last time out, takes on one of the smaller strawweights in former Invicta atomweight champ Waterson?
Saturday should give us an indication as to which is which.