ABU DHABI – Amanda Ribas was all smiles Wednesday forward of her UFC 251 battle in opposition to Paige VanZant.

At a pre-fight media day, Ribas (9-1 MMA, 3-Zero UFC) giggled and, at occasions, burst out laughing as she animatedly fielded questions from reporters. She confirmed no signal of nerves getting into her highest-profile bout so far.

“No, it’s very welcomed for me,” Ribas advised MMA Junkie when requested concerning the stress that comes with hype. “That’s superior as a result of within the UFC there’s quite a lot of fighters. After they say this about my identify – about Amanda Ribas – it’s great for me.”

Ribas is delighted by the prospect of preventing “large identify” fighters. VanZant (8-Four MMA, 5-Three UFC) is the second-straight matchup Ribas deems a giant identify, having defeated extremely touted prospect Mackenzie Dern in October 2019.

“For me, it was unbelievable once more, as a result of, earlier than Paige VanZant, I fought in opposition to Mackenzie Dern,” Ribas mentioned. “She has an important, large identify, too. Now, (I’m preventing) in opposition to Paige. I’m preventing with nice women (and) large names within the sport – not simply in MMA however in sports activities. I feel with that I generally is a large identify, too.”

Trying on the betting odds, Ribas sits at -850 on common throughout all main sportsbooks (pert BestFightOdds). Nonetheless, being the favourite doesn’t hassle Ribas. Actually, she likes it. The Brazilian fighter joked she must learn the way to place cash on herself.

“I’ve been coaching lots for that,” Ribas mentioned. “So after I noticed the betting odds, it was superb for me. I’m searching for put cash down as a result of that’s good. I’m actually pleased with that. And stress? I don’t put stress on myself, as a result of I’ve fought since I used to be a child. This world, this competitors, this vibe is my residence. For me, it’s large, and I actually find it irresistible.”

Even with a win over VanZant, Ribas thinks she nonetheless wants time to develop earlier than she sniffs title gold. Maybe a high 10 or high 5 strawweight opponent will likely be subsequent, however Ribas isn’t ruling out one other battle at flyweight, both.

“I really feel I would like a bit of time, as a result of I simply have three fights within the UFC,” Ribas mentioned. “(I’ll be) 4-0, however I’m an formidable lady, so possibly in my class, in my weight, 115, I hope the following battle could be with (the) high 10 or high 5. Possibly, if the UFC needs in 125, too, in opposition to some hulking lady. I’m searching for that, too.”

UFC 251 takes place Saturday at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The primary card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on UFC Battle Go/ESPN+.