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Amanda Ribas ‘really likes’ Mackenzie Dern match-up: ‘It’s just the step up I needed’

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UFC strawweight Amanda Ribas is excited to take on Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt Mackenzie Dern in October.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Minneapolis-Whitmire vs Ribas
Amanda Ribas
David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Rising strawweight Amanda Ribas is eager to take on fellow hot prospect Mackenzie Dern in the Octagon. After debuting with a submission win of her own back in June, the 25-year-old tells Combate that being paired up against the Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion is exactly the kind of step up in competition she needs.

In Ribas’ opinion, a fight against Mackenzie is the perfect opportunity to test not only her grappling skills, but her striking as well. In fact, Amanda intends not to hold back and make it an aggressive affair when the pair meets.

“I liked (the match-up), I really liked it. I can test both my jiu-jitsu and my muay thai. Both of us, right? She said she also wants to see how this fight goes on the feet. I think it’ll be pretty interesting to watch. I think that when you get too afraid, that’s when you end up finished. I have to attack, I really do, so she will be worried about defending and won’t attack me. My ground work is good, I’m no whitebelt in jiu-jitsu, only in English. My only goal is to win, I’m not worried about anything else.”

After a successful UFC debut against Emily Whitmire, in which she scored a second round submission win via rear-naked choke, Ribas believes it makes sense to take on someone such as Mackenzie Dern in her next outing.

“I’m fighting someone who is just the step up I needed in my division. That’s what I’m looking, and I’ve been rolling on the mat like crazy.”

Currently on a two-fight winning streak, Amanda Ribas (7-1) scored a TKO win back May 2016 before her UFC debut. Although the Brazilian did fail an USADA test before her Octagon debut, she did manage to prove her innocence claiming a contamination, which terminated her two-year sentence.

Now, Ribas is expected to take on Dern at UFC Fight Night 161, on October 12, in Tampa, Florida. The card will be headlined by a female strawweight bout between former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Michelle Waterson.