The Final Judges score for the match was 49-46 and 48-47 for Waterson and 48-47 for Hill. You can make an argument that Hill won by the size of Waterson’s hematoma. But Hill took plenty of punishment herself. Regardless, it was an exciting match that silenced the doubters who said it was going to be filled with plenty of “air kicking.” These warriors came to do battle.
Hill dominated in the first two rounds with her boxing. She also showed great take down defense and dominance in the clinch. Waterson turned things around in the 3rd round with a solid ground and pound display. The last two rounds were close. Waterson was landing side kicks and even threw an axe kick. Hill was moving and counter punching.
Waterson did what I said she needed to do in my last article. She used her kicks to keep Hill on the outside and took full advantage of her ground game when she had the opportunity.
Michelle has shown us in her career that she is the gate keeper to the championship. She has always fallen short when she has taken on a top ranked fighter. But once you get through her you have a chance to wear the belt. Even though I gave Hill the edge, I said Waterson was the smart money pick because of this very reason. Hill has good hands, but she has too many holes in her game to get past the gate keeper.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Teddy Roosevelt