Rose Namajunas, Amanda Ribas Score Impressive Wins At UFC 251Former UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion “Thug” Rose Namajunas took a big step towards a title shot with a key win tonight at UFC 251: “Usman vs Masvidal” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Namajunas edged out Jéssica “Bate Estaca” Andrade by Split Decision in their main card rematch.

In other main card action at UFC 251, rising star Amanda Ribas made quick work of “12 Gauge” Paige VanZant in their flyweight contest, and Karol Rosa took a one-sided Unanimous Decision victory over Vanessa “Miss Simpatia” Melo, who missed weight by five pounds for their bantamweight matchup.


Namajunas (9-4-0) countered Andrade’s (20-8-0) aggression early in tonight’s rematch by landing quick jabs as she circled away from Andrade’s looping punches. Andrade scored with a hard right hand later in the round, but the clinch battles were controlled by Namajunas and she scored with knees to Andrade’s body and face. The second round was close, and Andrade countered Namajunas’s jabs and right hands with powerful leg kicks and a hook to the body. Power punches were exchanged throughout the round and Andrade attacked Namajunas’s leg with more kicks. Namajunas landed a nice combination late in the round.

Andrade had her best success in the final round, as she bloodied Namajunas’s nose with an early combination and slammed her down to the mat. Namajunas attempted an armbar and a triangle choke before returning to her feet, and she landed a spinning back kick. Andrade replied with jabs to Namajunas’s nose and she reversed a takedown into top position. Namajunas got back to her feet and landed a final combination before the end of the close fight. One judge had it 29-28 for Andrade, while the remaining two scored it 29-28 for Namajunas, who avenged her past loss and may now be in line for a title fight at 115 pounds.


Ribas (10-1-0) took the fight to VanZant (8-5-0) right away with a body kick that led to a clinch against the fence. She quickly whipped VanZant down to the mat and worked from the scarf hold position before transitioning to VanZant’s back. Within seconds, Ribas locked on a belly-down armbar and VanZant tapped out at the 2:21 mark of round one. Ribas has now won five straight fights, including four inside the UFC Octagon. Tonight’s bout was contested at flyweight, but Ribas remains one of the UFC’s fastest rising stars in her natural division at 115 pounds.


On the UFC 251 preliminary card, Rosa (13-3-0) left no doubt in the judges’ minds as she earned a commanding win over Melo (10-8-0). Rosa used her reach advantage to keep Melo at bay with kicks and right hands in the opening round, and she secured a takedown shortly before the bell. In round two, Rosa reversed a takedown attempt and she scored with forearms and elbows from the top. Melo rallied somewhat in the final round, and she kept it close with jabs and one-twos after stuffing a Rosa takedown attempt. Rosa worked for a takedown and the fighters traded knees until the bell. Scores were 30-27 and 30-26 twice for Rosa, who has now won four in a row.



(Photo Credit: UFC)