Whenever Amanda Ribas is around during fight week, you know there’s going to be good energy to follow. The 30-year-old Brazilian seems to always be happy, with a smile on her face.
“I'm feeling amazing,” Ribas said. “I'm feeling happy. I'm enjoying the time. I'm enjoying the camera, I'm enjoying the training, so I'm happy.”
Ribas has spent her UFC career bouncing between strawweight and flyweight, and after going 1-2 in her last three fights at flyweight, she has made the move back down to 115 pounds. She faces fellow Brazilian Luana Pinheiro, who returned to competition earlier this year at UFC 287 after a year-and-a-half layoff due to a knee injury.
Heading into her third fight of 2023, Ribas is confident about where she is at in her career and the decision to go down to strawweight.
“My goals are going well, and my three fights before I did at 125, so this time I decided with the UFC, and they gave me a good opportunity to fight at 115,” Ribas said.
Ribas holds rankings in both divisions, sitting at No. 10 in the strawweight rankings and No. 9 in the flyweight rankings. It is something that not many people can claim they’ve done during their career.
“I am feeling really happy because with this as my profession, I need to be active, so for me to do three fights in a year, it's really good,” Ribas said.
Being able to say she is in the top 10, amongst the best athletes in the world, is something that warms Ribas’ heart. She believes it says a lot about where she is at in her career and where she could potentially be going.
She is focused on opportunties, not mistakes.
“I don't think in mistakes,” Ribas said. “I think in opportunity, and I will take my opportunity and put my heart inside of it like I did in all my camp, in all my training.”
For this camp, Ribas brought in a variety of different training partners from different parts of the world while completing her training in Varginha, Brazil. She trained with fighters from Argentina, India, and Belgium, elevating her training in the process.
When she looks toward her fight with Pinheiro, someone who hasn’t lost since 2017, she sees an exciting fight.
“I think she brings a lot of heart because she is as intense as me, so she can bring that for the fight,” Ribas said. “For the fans, they can expect fire inside the cage because it is too much intensity together, so it'll be good.”
Ribas is hopeful that a victory over Pinheiro propels her even higher up in the rankings. And as far as what division her next fight is in, that all depends on what the UFC wants to do. Perhaps a fight at bantamweight is in her future.
“I think it depends on the opportunity that the UFC gives to me; if they offer me a good opponent at 115, of course I will take it,” Ribas said. “If they offer me a good opponent at 125, I'm here. If they offer me at 135, I don't know. I need to eat and get muscle, but if they need me, I am here.”
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