Michelle Waterson will be returning much sooner than many expected.
Waterson was set to face Amanda Ribas at UFC 274 but she was forced to pull out of the bout due to a potentially career-ending injury. She took to Instagram to say if she didn’t take care of the injury her career would be over.
“What’s going on guys, I just want to check-in. I know all of you follow me here for my fight career, my fight info. (I’m) supposed to be fighting (on) March 26 and due to circumstances, I’m not going to be able to do that,” Waterson said on her Instagram. “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. 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. So, I just want to keep you guys posted and I will keep you posted as to when I’m rescheduled to fight.”
Now, however, on Thursday it was reported by Ariel Helwani and later confirmed by Waterson, that she will return on July 16 against Amanda Lemos. The location of the card is not announced, or the main event.
Michelle Waterson (18-9) has not fought since she suffered a decision loss to Marina Rodriguez last May which was the main event. Prior to that, she edged out Angela Hill by split decision in another five-round main event to snap her two-fight losing skid to Carla Esparza and another main event loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She’s currently ranked 10th at strawweight.
Amanda Lemos (11-2-1) suffered her first UFC loss at strawweight last time out as she was submitted in the first round at Jessica Andrade in her first UFC main event. Before the setback, she beat Angela Hill, Monsterrat Ruiz, Livia Renato Souza, Mizuki Inoue, and Miranda Granger. In her promotional debut she fought at bantamweight and suffered a TKO loss to Leslie Smith.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime