This coming weekend Tabatha Ricci returns to the octagon at UFC Jacksonville, off the back of her impressive win over Jessica Penne back in March.
The rising Brazilian prospect will take on the dangerous submission artist, Gillian Robertson, in what will be the Canadian’s second consecutive fight at strawweight. Robertson was victorious in her last outing and it came against one of Ricci’s teammates, Piera Rodriguez.
Ricci’s fight in March was her first in front of a live crowd during her UFC tenure as her three prior fights were in the Apex. Speaking with Cageside Press about her experience fighting on a big PPV card, she said: “I loved to fight for the live crowd, it brings me a lot of hype. The thrill was high and I was very happy to be fighting in the big arena.
“There was a little bit of pressure but I think every fight is different. For the Jessica Penne fight, it was my first time fighting in the big arena, but it wasn’t something that surprised me because I have been in the corners before in the big arenas so it was something I was already expecting. It was a good pressure.”
— Tabatha “BABY SHARK” Ricci 🦈 (@TabathaRicci) May 8, 2023
After her win against Jessica Penne, Ricci claimed that it was the start of the “Baby Shark era.” “I think this era is just getting started. In each camp I go through I’m only getting better. My goal is to master all the skills in MMA because it’s not only Jiu-Jitsu and striking, we’ve got to be well rounded in this game, so that’s my goal to master all the areas. It takes time but I think I’m on my way and this era is just getting started.” Ricci said.
Despite Ricci being a high level Jiu-Jitsu black-belt, her opponent Robertson is too. In her 14 professional wins, “The Savage” has accumulated nine wins via submission.
Talking on Gillian Robertson’s grappling threat, Ricci said “I know she’s coming in on a win streak like me and she has awesome Jiu-Jitsu, but nothing that impressed me a lot. She’s more like pure Jiu-Jitsu, that’s what she shows in her fights. I’m looking to be more well rounded in MMA so we’ll see how that plays out.”
Watch our full interview with UFC Jacksonville strawweight Tabatha Ricci above.