Red-hot Amanda Ribas – the No. 10 women’s strawweight – tried to keep her perfect record inside the Octagon (4-0) at the expense of 6th-seeded Marina Rodriguez, who stepped up to the challenge for Mitchell. Waterson backed out of the pay-per-view (PPV) incident for unknown reasons. And after the undefeated lightweight sensation Oatman Aziter made the biggest of mistakes, his 115-pound shutdown was promoted to the PPV main card of UFC 257 inside the Ithena Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Ribas controlled the action early, but then in the second verse less than a minute later, Rodriguez scored a highlight-reel finish to enter the upset.
Ground specialist Ribas hoped to close the distance and avoid any big shots by putting pressure on striking specialist Rodriguez. Ribas continued to chase Rodriguez, firing with a low kick and attempting to trap him by cutting the cage. Ribas was able to secure a takedown in about 90 seconds, which Rodriguez defended for his side for a solid minute before Ribas was finally able to enter his closing guard. Ribas tried to knock some ground and pound down, but Rodriguez did a good job keeping his head on his chest. Rodriguez tried to move herself toward the fence, so that she could try to stand, but Ribas enabled her to hold the right where she wanted… near the center of the Octagon. Ribas landed a good elbow and some short body paws, while Rodriguez was locked in a body triangle from the bottom and exited the opening frame.
Rebas’ corner advised him to make sure he got half guard so that he could do more damage, while Rodriguez’s team pushed him to leave. Rodriguez then dropped him with a hard shot and began to put on more unanswered blasts … it looked like Rebas was done, but referee Herb Dean didn’t call it … yet. Rodriguez walks away, thinking that she has won, but Dean informs her that she is not finished. But, Ribas was clearly out on his feet – so Rodriguez stabbed him with an elbow, then two blisters on the right hands and Dean finally overtook Rebus and intensified the action.
Dean seemed to have touched Rodriguez during her initial invasion, which was why she was probably gone. Either way, it did not matter, Rodriguez recorded a big win atop a bounce-back, which still has a bright future ahead of him.
This is how you kickoff a PPV.
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