Paige VanZant vs Amanda Ribas Predictions for UFC 251

We are wrapping up our week long preview of each fight on the main UFC 251 card and we have the fight that kicks off the pay per view in Ribas vs VanZant. We haven’t seen PVZ in quite some time and we have all heard about Ribas by now. This fight is packed with drama and angles so finding an opportunity to bet it will be easy for those of us eager to get down on this one.

Paige VanZant vs Amanda Ribas Odds

Paige VanZant vs Amanda Ribas Odds Paige VanZant Amanda Ribas
To Win Outright +550 -833

The Fighters:

Ribas is the hottest 115-pound prospect we have had in quite some time and the UFC is doing everything they can to push her brand. She is young, attractive, and not at all shy of the camera. Combine that with how skilled she is in the cage and you have a recipe for marketing success. In fact, you might be able to say that Ribas is PVZ 2.0. Paige was one of the first athletic and skilled women with stunning looks to hit the UFC.

She made a huge splash and was insanely marketable however she has struggled when the UFC gave her higher caliber opponents. This is the last fight on PVZ’s contract and she has been very outspoken about how much she believes she is worth. It is pretty clear that the UFC is looking to boost Ribas and take Paige down a peg for negotiations all in one shot.

UFC Fighter Amanda Ribas
Odds -833
Age 26 years old
Height 5’3
Reach 66
Wins by KO/TKO 3
Win/Loss 9-1
Finish Rate 66%

Amanda Ribas is incredibly dangerous, has a background in Judo, and brings a BJJ black belt with her into the cage. Amanda’s bread and butter is on the mat, however, she has absolutely been working on her striking and looked very impressive on the feet as of late. Amanda Ribas has become well rounded in a short period of time and her gas tank is next level good.

In her last fight, Ribas landed 85 significant strikes against UFC vet Randa Markos and was still going hard in the 3rd round without any issue. She is deadly in the clinch, her ability to scramble and hunt submissions is excellent, and when the fight hits the mat she has serious ground and pound. The UFC likes her for a reason as she is legit.

UFC Fighter Paige VanZant
Odds +550
Age 26 years old
Height 5’4
Reach 65
Wins by KO/TKO 2
Win/Loss 8-4
Finish Rate 63%

Paige VanZant is a strange case. She originally trained out of Team Alphamale and everybody was incredibly high on her pure athleticism. It seemed as though she was in the right place to put her physical talents to use, but she seemed to learn to run before she could walk. Eventually, Paige relocated gyms because she felt she wasn’t getting one on one attention and settled down with Austin Vanderford who is a serious 170-pound fighter.

We haven’t seen Paige since January of 2019 and she has been sidelined with multiple arm breaks but she has most definitely been busy. Taking a peep over at her Instagram you will find dozens of fun and entertaining nudes of her and Mr. VanZant, but more importantly, you will find that she has been packing on some muscle. Paige looks to be in incredible shape compared to the skinny fighter we have seen previously in the UFC.

The Matchup:

When I first looked at this fight I immediately thought the line was wide. PVZ is currently a +550 underdog and that means the sportsbooks are saying she has roughly a 15% chance of victory. I felt that this was ridiculous and I fully expected to take a small shot on PVZ. This is a cage fight folks!!

You are locking 2 human beings into a steel cage and putting their health, future, and wallets on the line and you simply cannot count anybody out under those circumstances. One of the reasons we love MMA so much is because of the crazy and wild things that we see happen when they are least expected.

Paige has extremely predictable striking. The commentators will call it unorthodox, but that’s code for bad. She blitz attacks over and over and has little other offense. She either attacks with a superman punch which is easy to counter and she has eaten some big shots when throwing it, or she goes to the jumping switch kick that she used to KO Bec Rawlings back in 2016.

She seems to have fallen in love with these 2 strikes to her detriment. Both attacks leave her vulnerable, but she has yet to learn her lesson. Paige also regularly uses the head and arm throw which is an extinct technique in modern MMA because it is so easy to defend. It causes you to give your back up to your opponent when you do not hit it, something that PVZ has done multiple times.

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My initial thoughts were that Paige is the larger woman and has fought at 125 several times and this will be Ribas first time at the weight class. Paige seems to have been working exceptionally hard with Mr. VanZant on bulking up and adding muscle to her frame and I felt that size advantage will give her the edge here and she may employ a wrestling heavy game plan to grind out a close split decision fight against the newer fighter.

The issue is that I have come to my senses. I always tell people that you do not bet a fighter based on YOUR game plan for them. If a fighter has shown you what they will do in a fight repeatedly you cannot suddenly expect them to change what they know and do unless you have proof that they are capable of it. My expectation of Paige to come out and grapple at UFC 251 is not backed by any kind of evidence that she is capable of executing that game plan. Paige, herself, is easily taken down and Ribas is miles ahead of her on the mat, so even if that was the plan there is a chance that Ribas will be able to sweep and submit.

Even as recently as her fight with Rachel Ostovich, Paige struggled with giving up position and losing scrambles. She was losing that fight until the moment Rachel made a mistake and Paige was able to submit her. Both of these women are fully capable of finishing the fight. If Paige gets dominant ground position her ground and pound is fierce, but the same can be said for Ribas.

PVZ can snatch an arm and Ribas is a master in the art of choking people unconscious. Page has 2 losses on her record by submission and both came by way of rear-naked choke and I believe that may be the key to this fight. Ribas will be more than happy to strike on the feet with Paige and once PVZ realizes she is in trouble she will probably go for a takedown or a hip throw.

I believe Paige will give up a bad position and more than likely her neck. The problem for me is this line. I am not laying that kind of wood on Ribas and I have decided to pass on taking the shot with Paige. Betting Ribas inside the distance will get you about +120 and allow for a submission or the TKO, but better yet I think an under might make more sense.

Should Paige get a lucky break and manage to find herself in an opportunistic position the Under will still allow us to cash a bet and you can get +125 which is just a little better than +120. You have to choose if you’d like to leave that window open for Paige or if you would prefer to have the extra 2 and a half minutes for Ribas to close the show in the 3rd round.

The Pick: Paige VanZant vs Amanda Ribas U2.5 Rounds (+125)