UFC 229 results: Michelle Waterson outpoints Felice Herrig with well-rounded attack

LAS VEGAS – This is the UFC 229 live blog for Michelle Waterson vs. Felice Herrig, a strawweight bout at Saturday’s UFC event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Waterson, who has won three of her last five, faces Herrig, who recently saw a four-fight win streak snapped after dropping a split decision to Karolina Kowalkiewicz, on the main card.

Check out the UFC 229 live blog below.

Round 1: Alright, first fight on the Big Card. Should be a good one. The third man is Jason Herzog. Pretty intense stare-down. They come right out and trade leg kicks. Now a high kick from Herrig, and Waterson throws upstairs and connects.

Herrig holding center, and Waterson gladly orbiting. High kick from Waterson errant, and they trade again, this time with Herrig whiffing on a hook. A lot of kicks early; none of them thus far effective. Oblique kick from Waterson, an old Albuquerque standby. She’s still rolling to her right, full rotations. Herrig trying to track her down, and lands a push kick.

Neither getting close enough to do damage, though Herrig is trying. Now Waterson rolls hard left, and then backtracks right. Herrig finally catches up to her on fence, and catches Waterson with a right. That gets a reaciton from the crowd. They are tied up on fence, with Herrig posting Waterson on the links. It’s rough housing, and they roll along the fence. Herrig still the bully. Round closes down, and Herrig maintained that position to the horn. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Herrig, 10-9.

Round 2: Herrig back to center, and this time lands a combo right off, using a pushkick to initiate. They come together briefly, then separate, and Waterson changes levels — nothing doing. Herrig pushes Waterson’s frame to the links again, and starts hammering at her sides.

Waterson glances out up in frustration, as Felice lands a left hook. Again, it’s Herrig just controlling Waterson on fence, and mugging her in the clinch. Not a lot of striking involved. Some knees from Waterson, who momentarily rolls Herrig to fence, the separates. And now Waterson coming to life, gets Herrig down — near mount, half guard…and that’s where it is.

Crowd comes to life. Waterson looking for side control, but she’s landing short shots. Herrig in a terrible spot, but clinging tight — not letting Waterson posture up. Waterson with her elbow lying heavy across Herrig’s mouth and chin, very uncomfortable indeed.

Some left hands from Waterson to the temple, and Herrig holding on for dear life — now she tries to scoot out, but can’t. Full guard for Herrig. She is going to keep Waterson right in her bread basket as long as she can — and now Waterson gets up and jumps right back into her guard. Waterson plants her palm over Herrig’s face, and that’s where the round ends. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Waterson, 10-9 (19-19 overall)

Round 3: Herrig back to center, and a side kick from Waterson, who looks like she’s fully involved in the fight now. Herrig drops down and shoves Waterson shoulder first into the cage, yet can’t keep her there this time. Waterson breaks, and does a lap.

Now Waterson changes levels and takes Herrig down, but then Herrig flips her over in the scramble. Elbows from the bottom from Waterson, and lots of them. The crowd sees it and responds. A lot of punishment here from the bottom.

Now Felice postures, and tries to rain down some hammerfists, can’t get them through clean. Waterson with guard, and she flirts with an omoplata, but Herrig slips right out. Now back into Waterson’s guard. Still, Michelle Waterson doing the damage from bottom, and Herzog stands them up. Right away Herrig looking for takedown, but it’s thwarted — instead they go to fence, with Herrig the aggressor. She has a hook in, but she can’t hold on — Waterson shoves her away. Back to center, and Herrig opens up with some punches from range, but not a lot of zip on them. Fatigue.

She comes in and Michelle Waterson stonewalls her, a total impasse. Good exchange. They clinch and exchange knees to the body. This one’s over. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Waterson, 10-9 (29-28 for Waterson overall)

Official result: Michelle Waterson def. Felice Herrig via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 30-27)