Multiple people with knowledge of the situation told MMA Fighting that an undisclosed injury will prevent “The Karate Hottie” from facing Ribas on March 26 as originally planned. As a result, the UFC has decided to move the matchup to UFC 274 on May 7 rather than look for a new opponent for Ribas in March.
Ag. Fight first reported Waterson's withdrawal.
Ribas (11-2) has been trying to get a fight with Waterson since January 2021, but the bout has yet to materialize. The 28-year-old prospect is coming off a decision victory over Virna Jandiroba, which boosted her UFC record to 5-1.
Waterson (18-9) is a former Invicta FC atomweight champion who’s won six of 11 since joining the UFC as a strawweight in 2015, including victories over the likes of Paige VanZant, Angela Hill, and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Waterson is looking to rebound from a short-notice decision defeat to Marina Rodriguez.
UFC 274 will take place in Phoenix, Ariz., and feature Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje in the main event. The card now includes nine Brazilians in total following the recent addition of Ribas vs. Waterson and the Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux rematch.
Mike Heck contributed to this report.
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