What’s next for Amanda Ribas following UFC Vegas 54 loss?

July 12, 2020; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Amanda Ribas of Brazil celebrates after her victory over Paige VanZant in their flyweight fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday on the main card of UFC Vegas 54, we saw a pivotal matchup in the women’s flyweight division. Top contender Katlyn Chookagian (18-4) was welcoming top strawweight contender Amanda Ribas (11-3) to the flyweight division.

Ribas was coming off of a win against Virna Jandiroba entering UFC Vegas 54. In that fight, she looked much improved from her previous fight and re-established her stock. However, after the fight, she decided to move up and take on the challenge of top contender Katlyn Chookagian.

To be completely honest, I thought Ribas was really going to struggle in this matchup. However, I was wrong. In the first round, Ribas was able to use her sensational judo to get a big takedown on Chookagian. With her ground control time, Ribas definitely took the first round.

Ribas would go on to land takedowns in every single round at UFC Vegas 54. She really showed that she could hang with the best of the best at 125 pounds. However, she was still not doing the best in the stand up. When they were at striking range, Ribas was getting clipped with the crisp straight shots of Chookagian.

In the final two rounds, Ribas also struggled to mount any offense from her takedowns. Combining that with losing the striking and things didn’t look well in terms of the scorecards. Unfortunately for Ribas, when the cards were read at UFC Vegas 54, two of the judges gave the fight and the win to Katlyn Chookagian.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 54?

The decision was brutal for Amanda Ribas and there were plenty of people who thought that she won the fight on Saturday night. Had she been given the decision, she would’ve vaulted to the very top of the UFC’s flyweight division and could’ve been a win away from a title shot.

However, she wasn’t given the decision and now her career’s in a bit of limbo. She’s not at the top of the strawweight division and she’s not at the top at flyweights. She’s somewhere in the middle of the top fifteen in both weight classes. So what’s next?

Well, after watching her on Saturday night, I think she’ll take another fight in the UFC’s flyweight division. She looked good from a size perspective and she looked strong. Ribas also benefited from not having to cut an extra ten pounds. Assuming she stays at 125, who can she fight?

Personally, I would like to see her against someone like Joanne Wood. Wood is currently ranked tenth and it would be a good opportunity for Ribas to get a top ten win at 125. If she could beat Wood, she would firmly establish herself in the UFC’s top ten at 125.