MMA: Marina Rodriguez outpoints Michelle Waterson in UFC flyweight bout

Marina Rodriguez (pictured) emerged with a unanimous-decision victory over Michelle Waterson in a flyweight fight. PHOTO: UFC BRASIL/INSTAGRAM

(REUTERS) - Brazil's Marina Rodriguez emerged with a unanimous-decision victory over the United States' Michelle Waterson in a flyweight fight that served as the main event of a UFC Fight Night card on Saturday (May 8) in Las Vegas.

Rodriguez (14-1-2) piled up big advantages in total strikes, 144-100, and significant strikes, 125-88.

The final scorecards had Rodriguez winning 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46.

"It was a five-round fight against the tough opponent, so for sure I was going to get banged up a little," Rodriguez said through a translator.

"Just a week's rest and I'll be fine."

Waterson (18-9-0) produced the only takedown of the match, in the fourth round, despite making five takedown attempts.

Rodriguez said: "She's so experienced. That's a thing I knew going into it... I knew she was very tough, so to go five rounds with her and win, it's an amazing feat for me in my career."

Regarding the fourth round, Rodriguez said: "She was able to take me down and control me pretty well. I was able to at least avoid a lot of damage, and that was the main thing, make sure that I at least (get through it) because it's five rounds."

In the co-main event, last-minute replacement Alex Morono stopped Donald Cerrone with punches at 4 minutes and 40 seconds of the first round in a welterweight bout.

Morono (19-7-0) landed multiple right hands to the head while mixing in a few body blows, and the referee eventually stepped in with Cerrone backed against the fence.

Cerrone (36-16-0) had been scheduled to oppose Diego Sanchez, but the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) severed ties with Sanchez in late April following questions regarding the 39-year-old's medical history.

Morono agreed to step for Sanchez to oppose Cerrone on the Saturday card.

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