UFC: Waterson vs. Ribas Targeted for UFC 257 on January 23

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Michelle Waterson UFC Vegas 10
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 11: Michelle Waterson poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on September 11, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

A strawweight bout between fan favorites Michelle Waterson and Amanda Ribas is being targeted for UFC 257 on January 23.

First reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN, a fight between two fan favorite strawweights is being targeted for the new year as perennial contender Michelle Waterson is expected to face popular up-start Amanda Ribas.  The fight is expected to take place on the first pay-per-view of the year at UFC 257 on January 23.

“The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson (18-8) is coming off one of the best fights of 2020 in September where she won a split decision over Angela Hill.  The fight snapped a two fight skid and stopped Waterson’s descent in the rankings.  Having worked her way to a title eliminator last October, another impressive performance from Waterson could propel her back to contention as several fighters ahead of her are currently inactive or current champion Weilli Zhang has already notched victories over them.

Amanda Ribas (10-1) has made the most of her first calendar year in the UFC as she’s quickly become one of the most popular fighters in the lighter weight classes.  Ribas leapt to a 4-0 start with victories over Emily Whitmire, Randa Markos, and Mackenzie Dern.  In July, the Brazilian upstart recorded her most impressive victory to date, submitting fellow fan-favorite Paige VanZant in the first round on the biggest pay-per-view event of the year.

No location for UFC 257 has been given, with both Las Vegas and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi being speculated as possible locations for the event.  As of now, it is expected that the fight will be headlined by MMA superstar Conor McGregor and former interim champion Dustin Poirier.

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