Tabatha Ricci, a rising star in the UFC strawweight division, has captivated fight fans with her remarkable skills and solid performances inside the octagon. Ricci has established herself as a formidable competitor and a force to be reckoned with, as evidenced by her record of 9 wins and only 1 loss.
Her talent and determination have propelled her into the top-15 of the talent-stacked division, making her a formidable contender for the championship in the near future.
The UFC women's strawweight landscape will witness a major fight in August when Amanda Lemos will lock horns with the champion Zhang Weili at UFC 292. Since her strawweight debut in December 2019, Lemos has been on a remarkable streak, securing seven victories in eight fights, with five impressive finishes.
Meanwhile, Zhang Weili defeated Carla Esparza at UFC 281 to become a two-time UFC women's strawweight champion. While the MMA community expected her to face fellow Chinese strawweight Yan Xiaonan next, the UFC went ahead and booked Weili to fight Lemos, leaving some fans perplexed.
Tabatha Ricci, on the other hand, considers it a good matchup and predicted a major upset in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda MMA. She stated:
"I'm not surprised [about Lemos getting the title shot]. She's been doing really well, she's been finishing fights, knocking people out, she deserves the shot for sure."
"I think she has a big chance [of defeating Weili]. I think she's a more complete fighter. She has the ground game too, so I think it's going to be very interesting."
Catch Tabatha Ricci's comments below (5:00):
Exclusive: Tabatha Ricci talks about the UFC fighter who inspired her
Tabatha Ricci is currently riding on an impressive four-fight winning streak inside the octagon. Despite a rocky start to her UFC career with a loss to Manon Fiorot in June 2021, she has since pushed forward relentlessly, never looking back. Her unwavering determination has set her on a trajectory to eventually contend for the UFC championship in the future.
With her background in judo, 'Baby Shark' found inspiration in the career of former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Rousey, who became the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in judo with a bronze at the 2008 Summer Olympics, is widely celebrated as a trailblazer for women fighters in the UFC.
Speaking in the aforementioned exclusive interview with Sportskeeda MMA, Ricci stated:
"I did look up a lot to Ronda Rousey because she comes from a judo background. She was one of the fighters that I always watched and always liked to study her game."
Indian audiences can watch all UFC events exclusively on Sony Network.