Dubai: Female fighters are all set to seize the spotlight when strawweight contenders Michelle Waterson and Angela Hill face-off in the main event at UFC Fight Night 117 on Saturday night. The much-anticipated bout between the former Invicta FC atomweight champion Waterson and former Invicta FC strawweight champion Hill, who makes history as the first black woman to headline an event, looks an absolute corker.
A bout between former UFC light-heavyweight championship challengers Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira was originally scheduled as the event but Teixeira has tested positive for COVID-19 and the bout has been rescheduled for October 3.
With Waterson (17-8 MMA, 5-4 UFC) and Hill (12-8 MMA, 6-8 UFC) having lost their previous outings, both fighters will be desperately looking to get back into the win column.
Currently ranked No. 15 in the MMA world strawweight rankings, Hill saw her three-fight winning streak ended when she lost a controversial split decision to Claudia Gadelha. Hill was confident that she had done enough to win the fight, but the judges saw it differently.
Hill, who will now become the first UFC fighter to compete four times in 2020, told MMA Junkie: “When you go in for a short-notice fight and you know you’re in shape, you know it’s a win-win. You know no matter what happens, you’re not going to be penalised from the UFC for losing a short-notice fight, but you also have great chance going out there and just dominating on, like, a week’s notice, so it’s always a win-win when you take those short-notice fights, and I’ve just been trying to embrace every fight like that.
“Even though I had like four months to prepare for this one, I’m just trying to — when I get there, I just try to focus on being in the moment and not worrying so much about what’s going to happen before or after or what they can possibly to do me. Fighting smart, but not letting the pressure get to me.”
Waterson, who is ranked two spots above Hill will also be seeking redemption after successive losses to former UFC champs Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Carla Esparza.
Saturday’s card also features three other women’s contests — a pair of flyweight clashes between Roxanne Modafferi and Andrea Lee and
Sabina Mazo v Justine Kish, plus a bantamweight bout between Julia Avila and Sijara Eubanks.
Broadcast live on UFC Arabia
From 1am, Sunday, UAE time)
Strawweight: Michelle Waterson v Angela Hill
Lightweight: Ottman Azaitar v Khama Worthy
Flyweight: Roxanne Modafferi v Andrea Lee
Light-heavyweight: Ed Herman v Mike Rodríguez
Featherweight: Billy Quarantillo v Kyle Nelson
Flyweight: Matt Schnell v Tyson Nam
Bantamweight: Julia Avila v Sijara Eubank
Lightweight: Matt Frevola v Roosevelt Roberts
Lightweight: Bobby Green v Alan Patrick
Heavyweight: Alexander Romanov v Roque Martinez
Welterweight: Bryan Barberena v Anthony Ivy
Flyweight: Sabina Mazo v Justine Kish