Tonight, at UFC on FOC 29 in Glendale, Arizona, an important strawweight showdown will take place on the main card as “The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson collides with Cortney “Cast Iron” Casey.
Ahead of tonight’s sole strawweight clash, the WMMA Rankings panel weighs-in in what each fighters top three Keys to Victory should include.
michelle waterson (nick)
1. PICK HER APART… This is a tricky fright for Michelle. CC is no joke and she will clearly be the bigger and stronger woman in the cage. Waterson will need to use her karate and range striking to pick Casey apart until she sees an opening. In the “Road to the Octagon” feature, Michelle said she would need to use her karate to capitalize and she is spot on.
2. DISRUPT HER MOVEMENT… “Cast Iron” Casey likes to rush forward with powerful combinations that knock her opponents off balance. Everytime Cortney gets in range Waterson should look to disrupt her incoming onslaught with a side kick, front teep, oblique kick, or leg kick. This will keep Casey hesitant from swarming Michelle and repeated punishment to the legs will hinder Casey in the latter rounds.
3. POSITIONAL AWARENESS… The Karate Hottie needs to be aware of her positions— she doesn’t want to find herself pinned against the cage or with her back to the mat by the bigger fighter. Casey will look to implement her size advantage early on. Waterson should be aware of the cage, circling away when near and be prepared to scramble— look for Waterson to take Casey’s back for a RNC!
Cortney Casey (Terence)
- BE UNPREDICTABLE…Both Casey and Waterson are expert strikers who also have solid ground games. Casey needs to keep the “Karate Hottie” on her toes somewhat literally. She needs to switch from striking to takedowns, varying her attacks to keep Waterson off guard.
- USE YOUR LENGTH AND REACH…Casey is 5’7″ and Waterson is 5’3″. Casey has a reach of 67” and Waterson’s reach is 62.” Casey must fight tall and long to keep Waterson at bay, and keep her at the end of her punches and kicks.
- IN THE END, GO FOR THE CHOKE…Out of Waterson’s six losses, three (in other words, half) have come by chokes (two guillotine, one by rear naked). Going for the knockout is always a possibility, but remember how Waterson was stunned but not knocked out by Rose Namajunas’ huge head kick toward the end of their fight. Casey could also try to grind out a win on the feet, but she knows that the judges can’t be trusted to get it right too much of the time. Since Waterson is vulnerable to a ground attack that ends with a choke, that seems to be her surest route to victory.
Who will you be rooting for tonight?