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Amanda Ribas wants to ‘become a legend’ by beating one in Rose Namajunas at UFC Vegas 89

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Amanda Ribas headlines a UFC event for the first time this Saturday when she battles former champion Rose Namajunas at UFC Vegas 89, and she sees it as an opportunity to reach a different level in the sport.

Ribas said on MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast that her father and coach Marcelo Ribas is constantly studying UFC rankings at both strawweight and flyweight, sending matchmakers ideas for future bouts. Namajunas was on the list after Ribas knocked out Luana Pinheiro with a spinning wheel kick in November, and that’s what she got.

“The UFC has so many athletes that if you take a step further and offer a name or mention names you’re willing to fight next, it definitely helps,” said Ribas, who is currently ranked in the top 15 of both divisions on both MMA Fighting’s and the UFC’s official rankings. “The opportunity came to fight Rose and I immediately said, ‘Let’s do this’. I didn’t even ask at what weight class. It could be 115 or 125. I would have said yes to either.”

Ribas vs. Namajunas takes place in the flyweight division, where Namajunas isn’t currently ranked. Ribas, however, celebrated the fact that the ex-champ is still considered one of the best pound-for-pound athletes in the UFC as extra motivation for Saturday’s clash.

“Mr. Ribas always says if you want to become a legend, you have to beat a legend,” she said, referring to her father. “I want to become one, and I’m ready for this.”

Namajunas only fought once a year since beating Weili Zhang to reclaim the UFC title, dropping decisions to Carla Esparza and Manon Fiorot in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Ribas is focused at all times, she said, even though she thinks “Thug” Rose does not perform at her best carrying extra 10 pounds of weight.

“I know she has sharp striking and good boxing,” Ribas said. “But I also see that her best quality at strawweight was her speed and explosiveness, and I saw in her last fight at flyweight that it wasn’t all there, so that might be my chance to grab her and do my game. I feel stronger at flyweight.”

“I always study my opponent’s game but also my own,” she continued. “I have good striking, but my background is jiu-jitsu and judo, and that’s something I train a lot. I’ve trained it even more for this camp, so it’s even tighter.”

Ribas has bounced between wins and losses since suffering her first UFC defeat in 2021. She looks to snap that streak at UFC Vegas 89.

If victorious with a clean performance, she is aiming for a quick turnaround on May 4.

“I’ll be in Rio for UFC [301],” Ribas said. “If not for a fight, I’ll watch it. If I have no injuries coming out of this fight, if it’s quick, I do want to fight there. It will be cool.”

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