From IMMAF to the UFC, Brazil’s Amanda Ribas is one of the biggest stars to emerge from the Pan-American continent.
The daughter of respected Brazilian Martial Arts coach, Marcelo Ribas, Amanda began training from a very young age. Initially joining a national Judo youth team, she would later find her true calling in Mixed Martial Arts and set out to make her mark on the world of combat sports.
Upon realising her destiny, Ribas plunged herself onto the international stage at the 2014 IMMAF World Championships, her first time competing outside of Brazil, where she would bring nothing but ferocity to the flyweight division. Her first bout pitted her against current Cage Warriors strawweight contender Micol di Segni, whom she would claim a dominant unanimous decision victory over.
Her final clash was one that would define the rest of her MMA career, as she faced future IMMAF World Champion and multi-time continental medallist Gabriella Ringblom. Ribas’ first big challenge was not an easy one, as both athletes pushed themselves to the absolute limit.
However, in the second round, Ribas began to tip the scales in her favour, taking down Ringblom and repeatedly finding herself in dominant positions. Ringblom rallied in the third round, meeting fire with fire. The two flyweights left it all on the line, with the momentum shifting back and forth as they both sought to secure IMMAF gold.
Ultimately, Ribas managed to outpoint her Swedish foe, solidifying her status as the first-ever IMMAF women’s flyweight world champion.
With an unblemished amateur record, the then 20-year-old would make the switch to professional MMA just two months after winning IMMAF gold. At pro level, Ribas amassed a 5-1 record on the regional scene, including an impressive win over future UFC fighter, Ariane
Ribas’ impressive performance in IMMAF and on the regional pro scene would unsurprisingly catch the attention of the UFC’s talent scouts, and in 2019, she made her promotional debut. As first bouts for a new promotion go, things couldn’t have gone much better for the young Brazilian prospect. Ribas submitted her opponent in the second round with a slick rear naked choke finish, instantly announcing herself to the world.
Since then, Ribas has become a mainstay in the Top 15 of her division. Initially a flyweight, Ribas has since moved down in weight and is currently the UFC’s No. 7-ranked women’s strawweight. She now holds wins over some truly elite opposition, including the likes of Mackenzie Dern, Viviane Araujo and Virna Jandiroba,
Amanda Ribas is a success story that will continue to inspire future generations, as the IMMAF World Championships returns this year to birth the brightest stars.
From the 20th to the 25th of November, new stars will be born as the next generation of amateur athletes compete in Tirana, Albania, at the 2023 IMMAF World Championships.