Former Invicta FC champion Michelle Waterson (18-8) is out of her bout with Amanda Ribas (10-1) at UFC 257 on January 23.
As a result, Ribas will now face Marina Rodriguez.
Details as to why Waterson cannot compete have yet to be released. However, Rodriguez finds herself stepping into a blockbuster pay per view event. At the top of the bill, Conor McGregor returns against Dustin Porier in a potential title eliminator.
Despite losing her last bout to Carla Esparza, Rodriguez has held steady in the eighth spot in the UFC’s strawweight division. In what was a back and fourth battle, the fight was tightly contested on the feet. Although Esparza showed more damage, she ultimately picked up the decision win.
Conversely, Ribas has looked extraordinary under the UFC banner. The Brazilian remains unbeaten in the UFC and only has one professional loss on her record.
With an aggressive Muay Thai style, Marina Rodriguez figures to be a tough match-up for Ribas. Since Rodriguez and Ribas like to keep the fight standing, the bout may wind up dominated by conditioning. While Ribas may have the advantage on the ground, Rodriguez’s high guard due to her background in Muay Thai will be of great service against a threatening contender like Ribas.