Rising UFC strawweight Amanda Ribas has formed an unlikely alliance with a previous opponent to aid in her preparation for Marina Rodriguez at UFC 257.
The sport of mixed martial arts is a unique organism. For as violent and vicious as it is, there is still a level of camaraderie that is perhaps unmatched by any other sport. One example of this is when former opponents who once punched one another in the face full throttle later become training partners, i.e. Alexander Gustafsson and Phil Davis, Alistair Overeem and Curtis Blaydes, and UFC 257 combatant Amanda Ribas and Paige VanZant.
Amanda Ribas defeated VanZant at UFC 251 in her most recent bout in what would turn out to be VanZant’s UFC farewell bout. And now, VanZant is helping her prepare for Marina Rodriguez at UFC 257.
“It’s really different because my last camp was to fight against her, and now she’s helping me in this camp, and I’m helping her for her [BKFC] boxing,” Ribas said on the What the Heck podcast. “It’s cool. It’s amazing and we can show everybody that it’s professional. I’m not mad at her, she’s not mad at me. It’s professional.
“If she can help me, yes she will. If I can help her, I will help her. We are martial artists. We’re artists, not just crazy people throwing punches at each other. We are athletes. It’s amazing.”
Amanda Ribas Anticipates Lucrative Bare-Knuckle Career for Vanzant
As Amanda Ribas continues to make waves in the UFC’s strawweight division, VanZant is turning into a new venture: bare-knuckle boxing. Ribas believes that VanZant will be successful in this new genre of combat sports and that VanZant’s choice to take part in this form of fighting says a lot about what she carries inside.
“She’s a really smart girl, Ribas stated. “She has a really big heart and, I think for her, it will be good because no one who has a weak heart, or is a little scared, can fight like that without gloves. For her, I think it will be a big step to get money because they pay her really good. I think it will be really good.”
What is your takeaway from this heartwarming story of former opponents turned training partners in Amanda Ribas and Paige VanZant?