Michelle Waterson after her fight with Marina Rodriguez. | Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Waterson is dealing with a potentially career-threatening injury.

Even with the postponement of the contest, strawweight veteran Michelle Waterson will not be able to compete against Amanda Ribas on May 7th.

Waterson’s removal from UFC 274 was confirmed by MMA Fighting following an initial report from Combate. This matchup was previously booked for UFC Columbus in March before it was pushed back due to what Waterson described as a potential career-threatening injury if not properly taken care of.

Ribas (11-2) awaits a new opponent as she looks for her second straight win. The Brazilian began her UFC career a red-hot 4-0, including handing Mackenzie Dern her first MMA loss and Paige VanZant an armbar defeat in her final UFC appearance. Her undefeated run came to a crashing halt against Marina Rodriguez, who stopped her by second-round TKO at UFC 257. She returned to the win column with a decision over Virna Jandiroba at UFC 267 last October. The latest rankings have Ribas as the #9 contender in the stacked strawweight division.

Waterson (18-9) is coming off a loss to Rodriguez, although that one was a five-round decision and not three rounds. Her lone win since 2020 is a thrilling five-round split decision over Angela Hill. While she may be 1-3 in her last four, Waterson’s other defeats came against former champs Carla Esparza and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Hopefully she will be able to fight again soon as she deals with her injury, but for the moment it looks like she’s out indefinitely.

UFC 274 is headlined by a lightweight title bout between champion Charles Oliveira and former interim champion Justin Gaethje.

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