One of the biggest rising superstars among the UFC’s female competitors in the past two years has been Brazil’s Amanda Ribas. With a win on Saturday night at UFC 257, she’ll be all that much closer to her goal of holding a world championship.
Kicking off the main card on Jan. 23 will be strawweight action as Ribas looks to leapfrog the No. 8 ranked Marina Rodriguez. Currently ranked just a spot below her Brazilian counterpart, Ribas would extend her winning streak to six with a victory (five in the UFC).
As the 115-pound class is loaded with talented contenders from top to bottom, it’s hard to determine the exact pecking order as the champion Weili Zhang awaits her second challenger. When could Ribas get her shot at the gold? She believes this could be her year if everything goes smoothly.
“I don’t know, I think I need to step by step, train hard,” Ribas said at the UFC 257 media day. “I don’t want to forget to train because sometimes I saw some fighters just [on] social media and forgot to train. No, I want to train hard because I know I need to be better but I don’t know, maybe until the end of this year.
“Because I was supposed to fight against Carla [Esparza] in the beginning and she had the name to fight for the belt. So I think until the end of this year. That’s depend [on] the result of this fight against Marina. And I need to do a really good fight.”
For the American Top Team product, Amanda Ribas last stepped foot inside the Octagon at UFC 251 in July — she would open up the main card of that event as well. Competing up a division at flyweight, the Varginha, Minas Gerais native dispatched of Paige VanZant via first-round armbar.