UFC 287 is underway.
The prelims continue with a matchup in the women’s strawweight division. After signing a new 8-fight UFC contract, ‘The Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson is back against rising prospect Luana Pinheiro.
Waterson tests out her jabs and kicks from a distance but doesn’t land. Waterson lands a leg kick. Pinheiro lands a leg kick and blitzes with punches that don’t find their target. Waterson lands a big spinning elbow on the head of Pinheiro. Waterson and Pinheiro trade leg kicks. They exchange punches on the feet.
Waterson goes up top with a headkick but misses. Waterson feints punches and kicks from a distance. Waterson catches Pinheiro with a massive body kick that puts her down momentarily. Pinheiro stuns Waterson with a right hand and then unleashes a massive combo to finish off the round.
Waterson stuns Pinheiro with a big punch. Pinheiro catches Waterson with a brutal leg kick. Waterson lands a teep kick to the body. Pinheiro blitzes Waterson with strikes and clinches up with her against the cage. They separate. Pinheiro continues with the leg kick attack. Pinheiro attempts a takedown but is ultimately stuffed by ‘The Karate Hottie’.
Pinheiro lands a great jab and Waterson returns with a right hand. Pinheiro lands an inside leg kick. Pinheiro lands a couple of strikes on a spinning Waterson at the end of the round.
Waterson manages distance with sidekicks. Pinheiro rushes in and Waterson takes her back in the clinch. Waterson goes for a takedown but Pinheiro is able to defend well and stay on her feet. Pinheiro takes control now in the clinch. They separate. Pinheiro and Waterson trade leg kicks.
Waterson lands a headkick. Pinheiro returns, landing her own headkick. Waterson just misses on a spinning elbow attempt. Waterson attacks the body with sidekicks. Waterson takes down Pinheiro for a moment but the Brazilian gets back up to her feet. Waterson clinches up with Pinheiro against the cage. Round ends.
Official result: Luana Pinheiro defeats Michelle Waterson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Check out the highlights below:
Locked down the W! 👏@LuPinheiroMMA takes a close split decision on the #UFC287 prelims! pic.twitter.com/xb9WIp8QGF— UFC (@ufc) April 9, 2023