Though she was disappointed at not getting a title shot, Michelle Waterson has the consolation of facing the former champion in Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Waterson was recently announced as the headliner for UFC Tampa opposite Jedrzejczyk. However, there was initial talk that the fight would headline a UFC event in San Francisco. In the end, it was announced that Tampa would be the location for the strawweight headliner. Waterson, however, doesn’t know why the location was changed:

“You know what? Honestly, I don’t know,” she said of why the location was changed on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday. “I don’t know if they were working on trying to get that arena put together. Either way, I’m still very excited that the UFC put us on for a main event and I’m stoked.”

Waterson Had Her Eye On Jedrzejczyk

Waterson was previously campaigning for a title shot against champion Jessica Andrade. Instead, Weili Zhang was given the opportunity. Still, “The Karate Hottie” believes her fight with Jedrzejczyk is a championship fight on its own because of the latter’s legacy:

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“I don’t know [why I didn’t get the title shot] and I might have stressed about it for a day but things like that are out of my control,” she explained. “Since I was signed to the UFC, I’ve had my eye on Joanna because she was the longest-reigning champ and when I was signed, she was the champ. So it would be my honor to be able to fight her in a five round fight and in my opinion, this is a championship fight.

“Yeah, obviously I was disappointed [in not getting the title shot] but the truth is, the strawweight division is a very stacked division. I think that Weili, I don’t think many people know about Weili, but she’s definitely a contender and I’m looking forward to watching that fight. The more people that the champ gets to fight, the better it is for me so then I can watch them fight and I have more time to scout them out. I understand everything happens for a reason and this is my journey and I’m just going to ride at the best way I know how.”

UFC Tampa takes place October 12 at the Amalie Arena.

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