Top flyweights will collide at UFC 285 when Brazilian standouts Amanda Ribas and Viviane Araujo meet in the octagon. While Amanda Ribas is coming off of a close and controversial split decision loss to former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian, it may be Araujo who needs to make a statement.
Back in October, Araujo competed in a main event slot with Alexa Grasso, who earned a hard-fought decision at the end of the night. Their bout was a title eliminator, and Grasso will co-headline UFC 285 after Araujo helps break it in. Knowing she very well could have had that title slot, Araujo will be gunning to put on a performance and steal the show, but the always dangerous Ribas is a tall order to get past.
Order the UFC 285 PPV now to watch every fight live on ESPN+ this Saturday night.
Oddsmakers back Amanda Ribas who comes in at -125.
- Amanda Ribas: -125
- Viviane Araujo: -101
Amanda Ribas is an orthodox fighter who strikes akin to many of her Brazilian Muay Thai specialist contemporaries. Incredibly aggressive and powerful, her long reach translates to a whip-like quality to her punches, although she tends to over-exaggerate her feints and arm movements leaving holes in her guard. Araujo, with her crisp boxing and the tight guard, could potentially find her openings with shorter and quicker punches here.
However, Ribas will have to force a high-pace and footwork-heavy game in order to take Araujo out of her boxing realm. Araujo has come with clean low kick tactics, but in general, kicking range belongs to Ribas, with her solid spinning side kick, chopping low kicks, and high kicks that she ends many of her combinations with.
Due to her boxing base and stance, Araujo does tend to lean fairly heavily on the lead leg which could open her up to low kicks. Her best bet is to work her jab against Ribas, but she also has a habit of leaving her head on the line when she does so. She has a high guard and low chin which helps a lot, but Ribas is a nice fadeaway-right cross that could connect.
Both women are immensely more successful on the lead so a battle for the center cage is integral for both of them. For Araujo, it’s about cutting off the cage and forcing Ribas to box. For Ribas, it’s about building momentum so that she isn’t trying to react to Araujo’s shots. Her relaxed guard works best when her offense renders her opponents stuck on defense, and because she tends to blitz at times, it forces Araujo to stand her ground and get caught in a clinch or back away and eat Ribas follow-up kicks.
Special Offer: Click here to sign up to MyBookie and get our exclusive sign-up bonus worth up to $1,000.
In terms of grappling, both women are tremendous top-game payers. Both are black belts in jiu-jitsu, and strong flyweights. Araujo is far more preoccupied with control than posturing for ground and pound, which means if she gets to mount or even a heavy half-guard, expect her to stay low and patiently work towards transitions. Although she is s submission threat, she often uses her submissions to guard-pass without truly looking to finish them.
Amanda Ribas’s jiu-jitsu is mixed well with her high-level judo, and watch for her to pass between scarf hold and side control often looking for opportunities. The biggest difference here is although Araujo has a nice slip left to double leg takedown, Ribas has a far more diverse standup game for grappling. She will shoot but often finds most success from hip tosses or throws, or judo counters off of her opponent’s takedowns. Ultimately grappling exchanges will likely occur on her terms.
Prediction and Betting Guide
Araujo’s best path to victory is to somehow force a fight in boxing range. Ribas has major defensive holes in the way she holds her guard and overcommits to feints and energetic movements, which Araujo could definitely take advantage of.
However, outside of this, Ribas has advantages in pretty much every other area. She has great kicks, although often neglects to use them until later in the fight, and her clinch game is generally stronger. If the fight is closely contested on the feet, I think the chances of Ribas ending up on top should either of them look for a takedown is the highest possibility. At -125 to -101, the odds are close enough that the value is better spent on the favorite.
Pick: Amanda Ribas to win (-125)