Back to the flyweight division for the first time since July 2020, when she forced Paige VanZant to tap in less than three minutes in Abu Dhabi, Amanda Ribas foresees another perfect night inside the octagon Saturday, when she faces Katlyn Chookagian at UFC Vegas 54.
Ribas had been expected to meet Michelle Waterson at a strawweight competition in March. However, she was forced out of the contest with a broken leg. Ribas admits she was “upset,” especially since the top of the 115-pound class was already busy.
Presented with the chance to meet No. 1 ranked flyweight next, an “excited” Ribas vows to make the most of it.
“No one’s ever imagined me fighting her,” Ribas said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocacao Franca. If the win is possible, and I am ready to do it, then I believe I will be able to ask for the belt. It’s something I will ask for. This is a huge opportunity, and it can be surprising a lot .”
Ribas was almost 136. in weight. 6 pounds when she got the call to face Chookagian, and added a few pounds to kick off her training camp. Varginha, a Varginha native, plans to enter the octagon Saturday at 141 and not gain more than normal in order to be “strong and quick .”
Getting past Chookagian is no easy task, though. “Blonde Fighter” won three straight since losing to former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade, collection decisions against Cynthia Calvillo, Viviane Araujo and Jennifer Maia. Another Brazilian will stand across the cage Saturday, and she’s “alert” at the danger she presents.
“I have to be very smart because she will try to use her reach,” said Ribas, who won a decision over Virna Jandiroba in her most recent bout. She’s much taller than I am so it is important for me to be stronger, lighter, and more able to find distance. It will work for me if she uses her reach to do her boring game of getting in and out, scoring points and score, but it won’t be easy. But I will not allow that to happen
“I’m ready to find my timing in there and not let her enjoy the fight,” she continued. “I have three rounds to fight calm and do my thing, [but] I want to end it in the first round. A beautiful submission, one that is worth a bonus.”