Amanda Ribas prepared for ‘the best Rose Namajunas ever’ in UFC on ESPN 53 main event

LAS VEGAS – Amanda Ribas thinks she’s done everything right to beat former champ Rose Namajunas in Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 53 headliner.

Ribas (12-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) will look to secure the biggest victory of her career when she meets two-time strawweight champion Namajunas (11-6 MMA, 9-5 UFC) in a five-round women’s flyweight main event at the UFC Apex (ESPN, ESPN+).

The Brazilian made her octagon debut in June 2019 with the dream of one day being at the top of the bill on a UFC card. She’s experienced highs and lows since then, but now she finally realizes one of her most significant career goals.

“Since the first time that I signed a UFC poster, I was imaging my face there,” Ribas told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s media day. “Yesterday I signed with my face, and since the first day at camp I was like, ‘OK, the time is now. You are doing the main event. So let’s go.’

“I’m prepared for all – to do five rounds, to the end or the beginning. I’m training to do a war and do a really good fight for the fans to enjoy and say this is worth being a main event.”

This might be the best time for Ribas to cross paths with Namajunas. Her American foe has suffered back-to-back losses, including her 125-pound debut against Manon Fiorot in September. Namajunas has never lost three fights in a row, so she will either rebound or fall to a newfound low.

Ribas, 30, isn’t looking at Namajunas, 31, as being in a compromised position, though, and won’t count on vulnerabilities.

“I always put in my mind that I will fight the best Rose Namajunas ever,” Ribas said. “I’m training for the best in her. If something comes not like this, I’m prepared.”

Ribas enters UFC on ESPN 53 in a rare position among fighters on the roster. According to the promotion’s official rankings, she’s No. 8 in the women’s flyweight division and No. 7 at strawweight. She’s bounced between weight classes when the opportunities have made sense, and will continue with that approach moving forward.

“I really enjoyed last year where I did three fights,” Ribas said. “I hope I can do three fights this year, too, inside the octagon, and I hope if I win, God will bless me with that, I can do a top five and maybe go to the belt.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 53.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie