Marina Rodriguez opened up the UFC 257 main card with a huge knockout upset over rising strawweight star Amanda Ribas.
A battle of Brazilian strawweights at UFC 257 on Saturday saw Marina Rodriguez go up against Amanda Ribas. The winner would likely find herself inching closer to the top five in the promotion’s official rankings, although the two fighters entered the night at very different points in their careers.
Despite a similar number of fights, Ribas had won all of her UFC bouts up to Saturday. That included victories over “It Girls” Paige VanZant and Mackenzie Dern. Ribas was on the verge of turning into an unlikely star thanks to her winnings ways and upbeat personality. Rodriguez, meanwhile, had failed to live up to the hype that had accompanied her in her UFC debut. Just 2-2-1 in the promotion, she was coming off a loss to former champ Carla Esparza.
Come Saturday, Ribas started off with pressure immediately, and it was only a matter of time before she got the takedown and ended up in Rodriguez’s guard. Rodriguez did a great job of minimizing damage, however Ribas did land a few elbows and strikes from the top. They weren’t huge blows, but they landed. Rodriguez started to land some shots off her back near the end of the round, but the first round came to a close with Ribas on top in guard raining down blows.
Rodriguez opened up round two with a huge shot that dropped Ribas in the opening seconds! Rodriguez jumped on her opponent looking to hit home with the ground and pound. Sensing the finish, Rodriguez then simply walked away during the sequence thinking Herb Dean called the fight off! Dean said the fight was still on, and Ribas desperately shot for a takedown that would result in her eating a huge elbow and eating more big shots! Dean finally called a stop to the fight, with Ribas standing but clearly out of it.
OH MY GOODNESS! 🤯
— UFC (@ufc) January 24, 2021
Strange finish aside, that was an amazing finish by Marina Rodriguez. Not only did she come back after being dominated in the first round to get a finish, she did it against one of women’s MMA’s fastest rising stars. Post-fight, she exclaimed that “Now you know who I am.” One of her goals heading into the bout, Rodriguez told media outlets this week, was to show her true self. She did just that.
Official Result: Marina Rodriguez def. Amanda Ribas by knockout, Round 2, 0:54)