Amanda Ribas vs Paige VanZant
Amanda Ribas (-820) (9-1-0)
Ribas comes into this bout 3-0 in the tough UFC Women’s Strawweight division; already taking out Emily Whitmire, Mackenzie Dern, and Randa Markos in that order. It’s an impressive start to her career and Saturday night she has an opportunity to add the biggest name yet to her resume. She’ll have to go up in weight to do so, but that shouldn’t be an issue as her opponent VanZant has fought the majority of her career at strawweight as well. Ribas has an excellent opportunity opening up the highly anticipated UFC 251 Main Card and she’ll look to capitalize with an impressive victory over Paige VanZant.
Paige VanZant (+520) (8-4-0)
VanZant is entering her 6th year in the UFC but has only had eight fights in that time. She’s dealt with some injuries but she also has a lot going on outside of the octagon. She will need to have full focus if she hopes to be able to pick up a win over the heavy favorite Amanda Ribas. Though Paige only has 12 professional fights, she has faced the tougher competition over her career and thus should have a slight advantage in experience. She’ll need to lean on that advantage to be able to outwit Ribas and pick up the upset. Women’s Flyweight is wide open and with a 2nd consecutive win Saturday night, VanZant could see herself back in the top-15.
Prediction: Amanda Ribas via Decision
Amanda Ribas should have the advantage anywhere this fight goes and the line reflects that. VanZant has more UFC experience but Ribas has been far more active recently; going 3-0 in just the last year. With the line on Ribas so high, you’ve got to take a deeper look into this matchup for value. While Ribas is 3-0 in the UFC, she’s only got one finish in a submission over Emily Whitmire. VanZant should be able to survive the grappling exchanges and knockouts in this division are rare. Take Ribas by Decision (+100).