Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Strawweight talents Amanda Ribas and Angela Hill will throw down this weekend (Sat., May 8, 2021) at UFC Vegas 26 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ribas enters this bout following a fairly brutal loss, having gotten absolutely cracked by Marina Rodriguez following a strong first round (watch highlights). Prior to that defeat, Ribas was riding a serious wave of momentum, stringing together four straight victories inside the Octagon. Meanwhile — despite several highly-competitive decisions went against her in 2020 — it’s very clear that “Overkill” is at the top of her game. Hill has come a long way, improving her defensive grappling and allowing her kickboxing to shine as a result, advancing to the position of No. 12 in the rankings.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each woman:
Key Wins: Mackenzie Dern (UFC Fight Night 161), Paige VanZant (UFC 251), Randa Markos (UFC Fight Night 170), Emily Whitmire (UFC on ESPN 3)
Key Losses: Marina Rodriguez (UFC 257), Polyana Viana (Jungle Fight 83)
Keys to Victory: Ribas holds a black belt in both jiu-jitsu and Judo, but the grappler is not helpless on her feet. In fact, the biggest win of her career came against Dern in an excellent sprawl-and-brawl performance.
Against the Muay Thai stylings of Hill, however, Ribas wants that takedown.
Given her fairly recent knockout loss, it’s fortunate that Hill is more of a volume striker than power puncher. It’s also beneficial that Hill mixes lots of kicks and knees into her combinations, as either can be used to initiate takedowns if timed carefully.
Specifically, Ribas should be looking to clinch. Hill loves the clinch and is skilled there, but she can grow overeager in the pursuit of knees and elbows. That flaw has seen her taken down by lesser clinch wrestlers than Ribas, and it typically only takes one takedown for Ribas to really control her opponents.
In a three round fight, that’s huge.
Key Wins: Maryna Moroz (UFC on FOX 28), Loma Lookboonmee (UFC Fight Night 168), Hannah Cifers (UFC Fight Night 166), Ashley Yoder (UFC Vegas 21)
Key Losses: Yan Xiaonan (UFC 238), Rose Namajunas (UFC 192), Tecia Torres (UFC 188), Nina Ansaroff (UFC Fight Night 120), Michelle Waterson (UFC Vegas 10)
Keys to Victory: Hill is an interesting striker, a mix of Muay Thai combinations and Alliance MMA footwork. She throws great combinations, tying together effective strikes from all ranges.
Against Ribas, it’s imperative that Hill keeps this bout standing. Improved wrestling or not, she has no interest in scrambling with Ribas. A huge part of whether or not this fight stays on the feet will be decided by Hill’s ability to manage her own offense.
If Hill can keep this bout at kickboxing distance, she has a really great chance at sprawling-and-brawling to victory. She moves well, seemingly has a speed advantage, and is more fluid from that distance. Plus, Ribas is more of a clinch wrestler than blast double leg specialist, so the reactive takedown is trickier for her.
On the flip side, if Hill gets too aggressive and smothers herself in the clinch, she’s giving her foe easy opportunities to take the fight where she’d like to go.
This is a fun bout between athletes looking to break into the Top 10.
Ribas had a ton of momentum behind her heading into the bout vs. Rodriguez, but a single well-placed punch disrupted all of that. Fortunately, Ribas is still talented, likable, and just 27 years of age. If she can return to the win column opposite a known opponent like Hill, it sets her up nicely to make a second assault on the division’s top-ranked fighters. Plus, that victory over Dern is aging like fine wine.
As for Hill, this could arguably be the best victory of her UFC career. A win here could push her into the Top 10 and set up another high-profile match up. Hill’s had big opportunities before only to come up within inches of victory, so it’s not a hard sell to give “Overkill” another elite opponent if she defeats Ribas.
For both women, there are definite consequences to defeat. Ribas does want to end up 0-2 after her fast start — it would almost be like starting over! On the other hand, Hill is 36 years old, so it’s really now-or-never for her title dreams.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 26 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN+/ESPN “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN+/ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 26: “Waterson vs. Rodriguez” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
At UFC Vegas 26, Amanda Ribas and Angela Hill will go to war. Which woman will earn the victory?