Heading into UFC 257, all of the attention was on Amanda Ribas (10-2) when it came to the PPV opener. Ribas had a ton of hype behind her and many believed that she was the next big thing at strawweight.
For Ribas to win, she was going to need to get this fight to the ground. Rodriguez has incredible standup skills, but she’s been in trouble when facing good grapplers. With that in mind, she really struggled in the first round at UFC 257.
In the first round, Ribas was able to land a takedown. Once on the ground, Ribas controlled Rodriguez for the majority of the round and landed some nice shots. However, the second round was a completely different story.
Ribas didn’t go for a takedown in the second round. Instead, she stood in the pocket with Rodriguez and she paid for it. Seconds into the round, Rodriguez dropped and hurt Ribas badly.
Rodriguez followed up with some shots and Herb Dean seemed to step in. She moved away to celebrate the win before realizing that the fight wasn’t stopped. Rodriguez then stepped right back in and finished Ribas off with a vicious elbow to close the show at UFC 257.
What’s next after UFC 257?
On the biggest stage against an opponent with a ton of hype, Marina Rodriguez performed at her very best. Her knockout win at UFC 257 is the biggest win of her career and it’s huge for her position in the strawweight division.
The new rankings just came out today and Rodriguez has moved up to sixth in the UFC’s strawweight division. With that big win on that stage, it appears that Rodriguez will get a big name in her next fight.
In looking at the strawweight division, I think a good fight for Rodriguez would be Michelle Waterson (18-8). Waterson is coming off of a big win over Angela Hill back in September and since 2018, she’s only lost to former champions.
The Karate Hottie is currently ranked two spots behind Rodriguez at eight. However, she has a big following and she’s a big name. The winner of that fight would be in a great position to challenge someone in the UFC’s top five.