Tabatha Ricci got to fulfill one of her longtime dreams when she got the call to fight in the UFC. While it was a dream come true in a lot of ways, the circumstances were much more nightmare like. She’d be fighting up a weight class on about a week’s notice, and her opponent would be fast-rising star Manon Fiorot.
Although she doesn’t regret taking the chance and signing the contract, Ricci recognizes that flyweight was not the division for her, and likely never will be again.
“My normal weight is like 10lbs over max,” Ricci said. “So being in flyweight was a huge difference strength-wise, I feel. I’m literally one of the smallest strawweights.”
The fact that she is one of the smallest strawweights in the UFC means she does have her eyes open on another division. Unfortunately for Ricci, the UFC doesn’t yet have that other class – at least not yet. The atomweight division is open and alive across many regional promotions and some have suggested that it could be where the UFC goes next to expand. If that pans out, Ricci would certainly be on board.
“I think if [the UFC] had that division, I probably would give that a try for sure,” she shared. “You know I never made 105lbs, but I probably can manage my weight and then see how I feel. I’d want to give it a try 100%.”
It’s not as if Ricci hasn’t gone below the strawweight division before. A well-traveled competitor in many combat sports, Ricci has cut below 115lbs and even did so in a much harder fashion.
“I did compete in Muay Thai in Sao Pualo at a lower weight – I think it was like 49 kilograms [roughly 108lbs],” Ricci said. “Then I fought in the same day and it was pretty tough for me.”
While she dreams of a weight class that may be more accommodating to her frame, she prepares to pick up another win in her current home. This weekend, she’ll take on Polyana Viana as part of the UFC Vegas 55 prelims on ESPN+.
You can hear the entire audio of this interview below at 26:57.