Surging women’s Strawweight contender, Amanda Ribas, is about to sign on for the toughest challenge of her young mixed martial arts (MMA) career. According to MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck, Ribas is in talks to face off against former division champion, Carla Esparza, at UFC 256 on Dec. 12, 2020.
Ribas exploded onto the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) scene in mid-2019, and she hasn’t slowed down since. In her Octagon debut, Ribas defeated Emily Whitmire via rear-naked choke at UFC on ESPN 3. Four months later, the Brazilian bomber really caught everyone’s attention after she handed highly-touted Mackenzie Dern her first-ever loss, defeating her via unanimous decision.
Ribas then went on to defeat Randa Markos and was last seen making quick work of Paige VanZant, submitting her via armbar in less than three minutes at UFC 251 this past July. That ultimately led to VanZant not getting re-signed by UFC, paving her way to her new career in bare knuckle boxing.
Esparza, meanwhile, has slowly and steadily put together a nice four-fight win streak, defeating Virna Jandiroba, Marina Rodriguez, Alexa Grasso and Michelle Waterson. It’s a nice turnaround from “Cookie Monster,” who had lost two straight to Tatiana Suarez and Claudia Gadelha prior to her streak.
A win here is big for both ladies, as Esparza could find herself back in a title fight sooner rather than later, while Ribas can make a case for a Top 5 ranking, inching her closer to the front of the pack and an eventual title shot.
UFC 256 will likely feature a Welterweight title fight as division champion Kamaru Usman is in talks to defend his belt against Gilbert Burns. In the co-main event, Amanda Nunes returns to defend her Featherweight title against No. 1 contender, Megan Anderson.