Strawweight Marina Rodriguez (12-1-2) has been preparing for her UFC 257 bout with Amanda Ribas a little longer than you might expect.
Speaking to Cageside Press during a virtual media day to promote the PPV card this Satutday, Brazil’s Rodriguez stated that “I feel great, really motivated, and I’m really looking forward to showing everything I’ve done the past four months in the fight.”
But for those thinking that Rodriguez only began preparing for opponent Amanda Ribas back when news of the pairing broke in December, think again.
After her last fight, a loss to Carla Esparza last July, Rodriguez took a bit of time off from training. But once she got back in camp, the plan all along was to fight “in December or January.” Knowing that Ribas vs. Waterson was one of the bigger fights booked in the strawweight division in that time frame, her team kept tabs on it. “We kept an eye on this fight between Amanda and Michelle, in case something happened. So we were already in camp preparing for that,” admitted Rodriguez.
Perhaps she has something of a sixth sense. Come December, news broke that Waterson was forced to withdraw from the match-up. With over six weeks to go, Rodriguez stepped in.
Come Saturday, fans can expect a classic striker vs. grappler fight from Rodriguez vs. Ribas. That comes as no surprised to Marina. “Since I’ve been in the UFC, I’ve fought all grapplers,” she observed. “It won’t be different in this fight, so I’m ready for her style.”
As for what she hopes to show in the fight, Rodriguez later stated that “I want to really show who the real Marina is this fight. I want to show the technique. I’m a different style of fighter. I think that I have a lot of aggressiveness, I throw my strikes with a lot of power. So I really want to show that in this fight, and show people who I am.”
UFC 257 takes place this Saturday, January 23 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The main card airs live on PPV.