UFC 257: Marina Rodriguez Destroys Amanda Ribas With Stunning TKO

Published 01/23/2021, 11:02 PM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 24: Marina Rodriguez of Brazil poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 24, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


The UFC 257 main card is off to a great start. Fans saw two women’s strawweight fighters, Amanda Ribas and Marina Rodriguez, open the main card. Ribas was initially booked to face Carla Esparza, who had to drop out of the fight. Subsequently, she was given Michelle Waterson as a replacement, but that didn’t work out either.

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Enter Marina Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was ranked #8 in the division and took a risk fighting #10 Ribas. However, as Max Holloway proved last week, sometimes one needs to take lower-ranked fights to establish their dominance. That is precisely what Marina did in her performance.

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OH MY GOODNESS! 🤯

Rodriguez rocks Ribas then begans to celebrate but it's not over! #UFC257 pic.twitter.com/b0wJFY94uV

— UFC (@ufc) January 24, 2021

Rodriguez won the fight in the second round via TKO. However, there was some controversy with the fight as referee Herb Dean seemed to step in after the first shot by Marina that dropped Ribas. Dean had a last-minute change of heart and chose not to intervene. That allowed some more ground-and-pound on Ribas.

People are being critical of the stoppage, but that shouldn’t take away from the fantastic performance that Marina put on.

UFC 257: Where does Marina Rodriguez go from here?

Even though this card is about Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier, Rodriguez’s win will have major consequences on the strawweight division. She will now be on the bubble of top-five in the division that is currently run by Weili Zhang. ‘Magnum’ will defend her title against Rose Namajunas next.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (L-R) Marina Rodriguez of Brazil kicks Carla Esparza in their strawweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

This win is especially impressive considering she prepared on just about a month’s notice. While Ribas did face a lot of uncertainty with her opponents, Rodriguez stepping in and still beating her the way she did is impressive. KO/TKO finishes are rare in this division, and it was refreshing to watch a one-punch finish.

This division has a lot of very tough opponents. Marina is establishing her name amongst the elite and will soon be moving towards a title shot. Hopefully, the momentum from this win carries over.

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What did you make of the fight’s final sequence?

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1458 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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