Michelle Waterson-Gomez Has UFC Return Booked, Faces Top 10 Strawweight
After a number of consecutive cards on the road, the UFC will return to the Apex facility for another event form its home base on September 23.
Frequent shows at the Las Vegas venue have caused backlash from the community, and the next Apex lineup looks set to be another that leaves fans wishing for an arena instead.
In the main event, lightweight entertainers Rafael Fiziev and Mateusz Gamrot will collide. Meanwhile, featherweights Bryce Mitchell and Dan Ige will set the stage in the co-headliner.
Also making the walk at next month’s final event will be former Invicta FC champion and UFC veteran Michelle Waterson-Gomez. The promotion announced this week that “The Karate Hottie,” who currently occupies the #13 spot in the strawweight division, will run it back with the #9-ranked Marina Rodriguez.
🚨 Get ready for an exciting top-fifteen strawweight clash at #UFCVegas79 on September 23rd!#9 🇧🇷 Marina Rodriguez will face off against 🇺🇸 #13 Michelle Waterson-Gomez. It's a battle you won't want to miss! 💥👊 #WMMA #UFC pic.twitter.com/phFKCeA1IO
— Women's MMA Rankings (@WMMARankings) August 18, 2023
Waterson-Gomez, Rodriguez Hope To Break Losing Skids
When they meet for a second dance, both Waterson-Gomez and Rodriguez will be pursuing bounce-back performances.
Waterson-Gomez (18-11) is winless since a main event victory over Angela Hill in 2020. After subsequently dropping a decision to Rodriguez, the 37-year-old Colorado native was submitted by upcoming title challenger Amanda Lemos last July at UFC Long Island.
“The Karate Hottie” opened her account for 2023 this past April at UFC 287, where she fell on the wrong side of a controversial split decision verdict opposite Luana Pinheiro.
Like Waterson-Gomez, Rodriguez (16-3-2) will also be targeting an end to a losing skid. The Brazilian surged into the title picture with a four-fight winning run that included triumphs over Mackenzie Dern and Yan Xiaonan.
However, she’s since fallen via knockout against Lemos and unanimous decision to another of her fellow countrywomen in Virna Jandiroba.
With this addition, the fights expected to take place at the UFC Fight Night event on on September 23 are as follows:
- Rafael Fiziev vs. Mateusz Gamrot (lightweight main event)
- Bryce Mitchell vs. Dan Ige (featherweight co-main event)
- Marina Rodriguez vs. Michelle Waterson-Gomez (strawweight)
- Cody Durden vs. Bruno Silva (flyweight)
- Tim Means vs. Andre Fialho (welterweight)
- Ricardo Ramos vs. Charles Jourdain (featherweight)
- Mohammed Usman vs. Jake Collier (heavyweight)
- Bryan Battle vs. AJ Fletcher (welterweight)
- Hannah Goldy vs. Misuki Inoue (women’s flyweight)
- Dan Argueta vs. Miles Johns (bantamweight)
- Montserrat Rendon vs. Tamires Vidal (women’s bantamweight)
Image: Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports
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