An intriguing UFC strawweight pairing of division mainstay, ‘The Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson, and fan-favourite grappling talent, Amanda Ribas has been added to UFC 257 on January 23rd. – with a location or venue for the event yet to be determined by the organization.
Hoping to finally earn her first crack at UFC gold, former Invicta FC atomweight best, Waterson headlined UFC Vegas 10 in September on short-notice, taking home a unanimous decision win over fellow former Invicta FC titleholder, Angela ‘Overkill’ Hill in a five-round headliner.
Originally expected to tackle former strawweight champion, Carla ‘Cookie Monster’ Esparza at UFC 256 in December, Ribas saw that pairing fall to the wayside, with Esparza removed from the pairing. Initially reported to remain on the December 12th. event against a new opponent, Ribas has now been moved to this January 23rd. showcase, tackling Waterson instead. News of the high-stakes clash was first penned by Brett Okamoto of ESPN MMA.
Colorado-born all-rounder, Waterson, who is a staple of Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico snapped a two-fight decision slide with her win over Hill earlier this year.
The 34-year-old had dropped a UFC Fight Night Tampa main event to former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk in October of last year, before a contentious split decision defeat to the above mentioned, Esparza at UFC 249 in May in Jacksonville, Florida.
A thirteen year professional, Waterson, who holds an 18-8 résumé, has notched notable career triumphs over the likes of Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Felice Herrig, Cortney Casey, Paige VanZant, Yasuko Tamada, and Jessica Penne.
Minas Gerais favourite, Ribas has scored a so far promotional perfect 4-0 record under the UFC’s banner since her first walk back in June of last year at UFC Fight Night Minneapolis. Debuting with a rear-naked choke win over Emily Whitmire, the 27-year-old added three more high-profile victories over fellow grappler, Mackenzie Dern, Randa Markos, and common-opponent, VanZant, the latest on ‘Fight Island’ in July at UFC 251.