A jam-packed weekend of combat sports comes to a close on Saturday night with UFC on ESPN+ 19 in Tampa, FL at the Amalie Arena, the home of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. Once upon a time, the venue was the home of the Arena Football League’s longest-standing original franchise, the Tampa Bay Storm.
In total, UFC on ESPN+ 19 (main card at 8 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. PDT after the prelims at 5 p.m. EDT, 2 p.m. PDT on ESPN+) will feature 14 fights.
Initially, Saturday’s co-main event was to have featured Thomas Gifford (17-8) vs. Brok Weaver (14-4) in a Welterweight bout, but earlier this week, Weaver, who was scheduled to make his promotional debut, withdrew from the card.
Weaver posted on his Twitter feed that he is a healthy scratch for the card.
We apologize for the coarse language contained in the not-safe-for-work exchange below.
Not hurt, not sick, an not on roids
— Brok Weaver UFC (@BWeaverufc) October 8, 2019
Thomas Gifford will instead fight on Saturday night’s undercard against Mike Davis (7-2). The new co-main event will be a Featherweight contest matching 25-11 Cub Swanson vs. Kron Gracie (5-0).
As far as this weekend’s main event is concerned, a Strawweight battle between No. 5 contender Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-3) in her Strawweight debut and No. 7 contender Michelle Waterson (17-6) for five rounds at five minutes-per-round. However, this fight, too, could be altered.
Reports indicate that Jedrzejczyk told UFC officials that she wouldn’t be able to make the strawweight maximum of 115 lbs. and asked for the fight to be changed to a catchweight at 120 lbs. Prior to this fight, she competed in the Women’s Flyweight division.
Jedrzejczyk will make an effort to weigh in at 115 lbs. at the Friday weigh-in. We’ll keep you posted.
UPDATE: Oct. 11, 2019: Both contenders in this fight successfully made weight at the Friday weigh-in.
Heading into Saturday night’s main event, Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the taller fighter, standing 5-foot-6, three inches taller than Michelle Waterson’s 5-foot-3.
Jedrzejczyk has posted a record of 2-3 in her last five UFC contests, losing last time out against Valentina Shevchenko (unanimous decision) in UFC 231’s co-main event for the UFC Women’s Flyweight championship on pay-per-view in December.
In the other corner, Waterson has gone 3-2 in her last five UFC matches, entering the main event on a three-fight winning streak. She looks to build off of her unanimous decision victory against Karolina Kowalkiewicz in UFC on ESPN 2 back in March during the second fight of the main card.
The Tale of the Tape
UFC.com shows that Joanna Jedrzejczyk holds the reach advantage (65.5 inches to 62 inches), with Michelle Waterson holding a half-inch leg reach advantage (35.5 inches to 35 inches) heading into the main event.
Prediction: Joanna Jedrzejczyk by second-round knockout.
Aside from the previously-mentioned co-main event, these fights take place on Saturday’s main card:
Niko Price (13-2, one no-contest) vs. James Vick (13-3) [Welterweight]
Mackenzie Dern (7-0) vs. Amanda Ribas (6-1) [Strawweight]
Matt Frevola (6-1-1) vs. Luis Pena (6-1) [Lightweight]
Eryk Anders (11-4) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (28-11) [Middleweight]
UFC on ESPN+ 19 at a Glance
Prelims: Saturday, 5 p.m. EDT, 2 p.m. PDT, ESPN+
Main Card: Saturday, 8 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. PDT, ESPN+
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