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Amanda Ribas ‘was ready for three rounds,’ didn’t expect quick win over Paige VanZant

Amanda Ribas tapped out Paige VanZant early into the first round at UFC 251, but she expected a much longer fight.

Rising UFC prospect Amanda Ribas scored the quickest win of her Octagon career yet at UFC 251. The Brazilian made quick work of Paige VanZant on the ground, finishing the fight with an armbar just two minutes and twenty-one seconds into the first round. A victory so quick, it even surprised the winner—and her fastest finish since a jungle fight win over 2-0 Tania Pereda in 2015.

In an interview with Combate, Ribas made it clear that she expected to go all three rounds against VanZant. Furthermore, the streaking Brazilian strawweight said she expected the fight to hit the ground at some point, but wasn’t looking for the armbar. Instead, Ribas predicted either a rear-naked choke or an arm-triangle submission to earn her the victory.

“I was ready for three rounds and to finish it in the end of the first or in the second. I did not expect to finish it early into the first and I did not expect an armbar, too. I was drilling rear-naked chokes and arm-triangles, because I watched one of her fights where she was caught in an armbar, she let her arm break, but did not tap. I thought that if I had her in an armbar, she would not tap. But I believed so much in that armbar, it was so tight, that my technique ended up working.”

Although she had her first three Octagon outings at strawweight, Ribas took on VanZant in a flyweight bout. And while she says she felt comfortable up a division, she still intends to drop back down. She already may not have a precise next opponent in mind, but will be keeping an eye on a few upcoming match-ups.

“There are lots of fights with girls who are better ranked than me coming. I’ll be watching the winners closely, so I can climb the rankings. I have nobody in mind right now, but there are some interesting fights coming. Carla Esparza vs. Marina Rodriguez or Michelle Waterson vs. Angela Hill. The winners of those fights, who are all above me, interest me.”

Undefeated in the Octagon, Amanda Ribas (10-1) now has four straight wins in the UFC. Before beating VanZant, the 26-year-old already had victories over Emily Whitmire, Mackenzie Dern and Randa Markos. Her sole MMA loss came in November 2015, when she suffered a TKO defeat to fellow current UFC fighter Polyana Viana.