Michelle Waterson Returns To Face Diana Rael In JanuaryMichelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson will return to action for the first time in close to two years when she faces Diana “Dynamite” Rael at Jackson’s MMA Series 7. The bout, which Rael initially announced on Thursday, is currently targeted for January 21, 2012 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Waterson has not competed since an April 2010 TKO victory. She gave birth to a daughter in March of this year and recently returned to regular training. Waterson’s opponent, Rael, has tasted defeat just once as a professional and picked up a big win over New Mexico’s Angelica Chavez in August.

Waterson (8-3-0) has posted victories in six of her last seven fights, with the lone defeat coming against former boxing and MMA champion Elena “Babydoll” Reid in 2009. In February 2010, Waterson secured a 15-second victory via flying armbar and she followed that with a first-round TKO stoppage of Japanese veteran Masako Yoshida two months later. The win was one of Waterson’s most impressive to date. Ring rust could play a factor in Waterson’s return, however, but she has only been the distance twice as a professional and has finished her opponents inside of one round on six occasions.

Rael (3-1-0) opened her career with a pair of stoppage victories in 2010 before suffering her lone defeat against Lacey “The Ladie” Schuckman early this year. She stepped into her toughest test to date in August when she faced Chavez in front of a hostile crowd, but emerged victorious via Split Decision in a bout that did not appear to be as close as the scorecards suggested. While primarily known for her Muay Thai, it was Rael’s ground game that proved to be the difference maker in defeating Chavez and she may look to neutralise Waterson’s striking by keeping the fight on the mat.

Jackson’s MMA Series 7 is currently targeted for January 21, 2012 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Though there were reports that the card may air on HDNet, HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon confirmed to MMARising.com today that there are no plans to broadcast the event.