Paige VanZant is slated to return to the octagon at UFC 251 on July 11, presumably on “Fight Island” fighting previously scheduled opponent Amanda Ribas in a Flyweight bout. VanZant wrote on social media, “coming to an island near you.”
VanZant and Ribas were previously scheduled to fight in March at UFC Brasilia in a Strawweight bout, however, VanZant had to pull out due to an undisclosed injury that required surgery, presumably an arm/shoulder issue that came up again. VanZant had dealt with a variety of injuries in the last few years that have kept her out of the octagon. She last fought over a year ago in January 2019 defeating Rachael Ostovich by submission in a very impressive victory.
When VanZant steps into the octagon in July, it will be the final fight on her contract. She has noted in the past she wants to consider free agency, so this very well might be the last time we get to see VanZant compete for the UFC for some time. At 8-4 in her career and 5-3 in the UFC, this will be a crucial fight to determine where VanZant might be headed to in the future.
Amanda Ribas on the other hand, is a name to behold here. The Brazilian is an impressive 9-1 and 3-0 in the UFC. Ribas sits at #15 in the strawweight division rankings, and while this bout will take a place at flyweight, a win over a huge name like Paige VanZant could skyrocket Ribas up the rankings. A lot will be on the line when these two women fight in July at UFC 251.
Who will come out on top at UFC 251? Paige VanZant or Amanda Ribas?