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Michelle Waterson: Karolina Kowalkiewicz is ‘one of the most well-rounded girls in the top-10’

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Michelle Waterson has praised her opponent Karolina Kowalkiewicz ahead of their fight at UFC Philadelphia this weekend.

Before their fight on Saturday at UFC Philadelphia, Michelle Waterson has praised the skills of her opponent Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

Waterson spoke to MMA Fighting earlier this week about the former title challengerse, and why she feels the Pole’s experience inside the Octagon against the division’s best makes her one of the best strikers she’s ever faced.

“I would definitely say so,” Waterson said. “She went all five rounds with Joanna [Jedrzejczyk] and she beat Rose [Namajunas]. To me that says that she has a really good MMA game.”

Waterson is on a two-fight winning streak in the UFC, with decision wins last year against Felice Herrig and Courtney Casey. Meanwhile, Kowalkiewicz had her winning streak snapped by a knockout loss to Jessica Andrade at UFC 228 last year. Both Waterson and Kowalkiewicz know each other from their time fighting for the Invicta FC promotion.

“I feel like even at that point when people were asking me on interviews and stuff, I was asking for her because she is a worthy opponent,” Waterson said. “She’s one of the most well-rounded girls in the top-10 of the division and somebody that has fought everybody and has fought them good. So I thought that it would be a great challenge for me and a way for me to get my name up and above the ranks where I want them.

“But that doesn’t mean that I dislike her. I think she’s actually a really sweet person. I’ve met her when I was actually the champ for Invicta and she was really sweet then. Even fight week, I saw her coming in, signing up, and gave her a hug. I fight because it challenges me and it makes me grow as a person, not because I want to inflict pain on other people.”

UFC on ESPN 2 takes place this Saturday night, March 30th, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A lightweight bout between Edson Barboza and Justin Gaethje will headline the card.