Rose Namajunas

Amanda Ribas and Rose Namajunas go head-to-head in a women’s strawweight battle at UFC on ESPN 53 this Saturday.

Ribas, who is ranked #7 in the division, will face off with Namajunas, who is currently unranked as a strawweight but maintains the #8 position in the pound-for-pound rankings.

Read on for the latest betting odds for this bout and our detailed analysis and prediction.

Betting Odds

Amanda Ribas will step in as a decent-sized underdog this weekend while the former two-time champ can be found at -210 odds.

  • Amanda Ribas: +170 (BetUS)
  • Rose Namajunas: -210 (BetUS)


“Thug” Rose Namajunas, one of the best women’s strawweight and a previous two-time champion, recently moved up to flyweight, where she lost a tightly contested decision to surging prospect turned contender Fiorot.

Namajunas is an exceptionally talented and skilled kickboxer and Muay Thai striker with a dangerous mix of speed, precision, and power. When she is flowing, Rose has some of the cleanest striking in the division. She throws effortless combinations, which often end with a devastating head kick, as she moves forward or backward in the cage.

Her striking can be, at times, lower volume with bouts of inactivity. The most extreme example was her main event loss to Carla Esparza, where neither woman landed 40 strikes over the course of 25 minutes. That fight notwithstanding, Namajunas is a clean and crispy striker who can shut the lights out on her opponents instantly. See her highlight reel head kick KO over Zhang.

The move to flyweight was a little puzzling considering she often was the larger and longer woman at 115lbs, and, given her range striking style, the length advantage aided her style. At 125lbs, though, Rose is not always going to have the range or power advantage, so she’ll need to be that much more precise and locked in each and every fight.

Amanda Ribas’s engaging mix of a charismatic personality outside of the cage and propensity for wars inside quickly made her a fan favorite. While her recent fights have further perpetuated her reputation of smiling to and through a bloody war, her record leaves much to be desired.

Ribas is 3-3 in her last 6 and has seemed to hit the same ceiling in each of her losses: top 5 caliber rangey or physical strikers. Against fighters in the middle or lower levels of the division, or against primary grapplers, Ribas has been able to implement her game plan with a high degree of success.

She has a frantic striking style that I’ve continued to describe as “jazz hands.” She keeps both of her hands out in front of her face, bounces around on the feet, and paws forward constantly. This style allows her to move forward, feint, and create openings for her own offensive combinations. But, it also leaves her exposed, especially against an educate jab and long counter shots.

When she faces a fighter without the jab or range knowledge to exploit Ribas’ defensive gaps, Ribas’ striking can overwhelm her opponent en route to a volume-heavy decision or late-round TKO. However, when she faces someone with the ability to jab her backward and safely strike from range, Ribas struggles to ramp up her momentum enough to overwhelm her opponent.

Both women are previous strawweights who have since moved up to flyweight. On paper, that should be a boost of confidence for Ribas, who has continually struggled against lengthy strikers. But, Namajunas, despite having a slightly shorter reach, has always been highly skilled at staying on the outside and keeping opponents at range.

Ribas will likely face the same range issues that caused her to lose Rodriguez and Cerminara. Then, if Ribas can close distance, she runs the risk of being bullied in the clinch. Like Ribas’ most recent loss, Namajunas is the more physical fighter and should be able to weaponize that physicality in tight. On top of the poor stylistic matchup for Ribas, Namajunas is simply the more talented and experienced fighter.

However, the biggest issue in Namajunas’ career has been the mental side. Outspoken about her mental struggles, it is no secret that the best Rose is not always the Rose who shows up. If she shows up unprepared or checked out, Ribas’ constant pressure and frantic volume could be enough to overwhelm Namajunas. I, however, am picking “Thug” to win with a late TKO or a decision following a clean and crisp striking display.

Best Bet: Namajunas to win (-210 at BetUS)

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