Women’s strawweight striker Marina Rodriguez is ready to surprise rising prospect Amanda Ribas at UFC 257. Paired up against her fellow Brazilian in a battle of styles, the muay thai fighter believes she can end the judo and jiu-jitsu blackbelt’s impressive winning streak.
In an interview with Combate, Rodriguez claims to know Ribas’ weaknesses from watching her opponent’s tapes, and plans to use that knowledge on Saturday night. Furthermore, Marina does not expect Amanda to try her on the feet, but if that happens, she predicts a great fight for herself and the fans.
“I don’t think she’s going to try me, but if she does, it’s going to be a great fight,” Rodriguez said. “The fans will enjoy that. But we’re aware. We know that fighting outside of your element isn’t a great choice. She can come at me. If she does, she better mean it, because then it’ll be a great fight.”
Even though Marina knows Amanda is a mixed martial artist in constant evolution, she stills believes the blackbelt can’t handle her striking. In Rodriguez’s opinion, Ribas can try her best to outstrike her, but Marina vows to take advantage of Amanda’s weaknesses, be it on the her feet or on the mat.
“She’s a well-rounded mixed martial artist,” Rodriguez said. “She can strike, she can grapple, but we can see the gaps. We based our strategy on that. On her gaps and my strengths. She’s a rising athlete in the promotion, but we’ve noticed some things. It’s going to be a cool fight. It can go two ways: the first one, of course, is me putting my hands on her in the right place and knocking her out. The other one is her thinking I can’t grapple and then I could showcase my submissions.”
In her last outing, Marina Rodriguez (12-1-2) suffered her first ever professional loss, dropping a split decision to Carla Esparza, in December 2019. So far, the 34-year-old has two wins and two draws in her UFC career, with her last victory being an August 2019 unanimous decision one, over Tecia Torres.
Now, Marina Rodriguez is expected to take on Amanda Ribas at UFC 257, on January 22, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a lightweight rematch between former double champion Conor McGregor and ex-inteirm title-holder Dustin Poirier.