Michelle Waterson before her fight against Marina Rodriguez. | Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Waterson suffered an undisclosed injury that forced her out of her upcoming fight with Amanda Ribas at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Daukaus. 

Michelle Waterson is eager to fight again, but that may have to wait until the ‘Karate Hottie’ can deal with what she says could be a ‘career-ending’ injury.

Waterson was set to return to the Octagon and meet Amanda Ribas at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Daukaus at the end of the month. Unfortunately, she was forced to withdraw because of an undisclosed injury and the fight was postponed to UFC 274, the pay-per-view event scheduled to take place on May 7 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix.

However, it appears as though the new date could be in jeopardy. Waterson posted a video on Instagram to apologize for her withdrawal and explain that she needs time to heal from the serious injury. She did not provide any further details on what it being affected or how long it would take to recover from.

“I’m supposed to be fighting [on] March 26 and due to circumstances, I’m not going to be able to do that,” said Waterson. “I’m hoping, keeping my fingers crossed that it is a short break. It’s an injury that stopped me from training and it’s heartbreaking because I was really excited to fight Amanda. I know she was very excited to fight as well, so hopefully it’s a fight that we can still have. But if I don’t take care of this injury, it will turn into something that can be worse and career-ending.”

Waterson has previously withdrawn from a fight against Ribas, who she was originally expected to face at UFC 257 last January. Filling in for Waterson was Marina Rodriguez, the current No. 3 ranked strawweight who finished Ribas via second-round technical knockout. Ribas has since rebounded from her loss to Rodriguez with a unanimous decision over Virna Jandiroba at UFC 267 this past October.

After rattling off three consecutive wins, Waterson has gone 1-3 in her past four appearances. The 36-year-old dropped decisions to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Carla Esparza and most recently, the aforementioned Rodriguez.


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