April’s UFC 287 will have “The Karate Hottie” in the house.
Former Invicta champ Michelle Waterson (18-10) will face Brazil’s Luana Pinheiro (10-1) in a women’s strawweight contest at the April 8, 2023 card. While no location has been officially announced, rumors have circulated for weeks that the event will be held in Brooklyn, NY.
ESPN was first to report news of Waterson vs. Pinheiro, with the Brazilian later confirming the match-up on social media. “I’m so excited to go back to the octagon,” she wrote on her Instagram story.
Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson will be looking to snap a two-fight skid in the bout. Last time out, she was submitted by an Amanda Lemos guillotine; prior to that, another Brazilian, Marina Rodriguez, won a unanimous decision against the now 37-year old fighter.
Waterson’s last win came in 2020 when she earned a split decision victory against fellow former Invicta FC champ Angela Hill.
Pinheiro is a 2020 Contender Series winner who will be making her third walk to the octagon in April. She’s won both of her UFC outings thus far, defeating Randa Markos in her debut by DQ due to an illegal upkick. Her second and most recent fight for the organization came in November of 2021, where she beat Sam Hughes by decision.
Two other fights have been reported for UFC 287 on April 8, 2022. The card currently reads as follows:
- Rob Font vs. Adrian Yanez
- Cynthia Calvillo vs. Lupita Godinez
- Michelle Waterson vs. Luana Pinheiro