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UFC Minneapolis winner Amanda Ribas asks for October return against top 15 strawweight

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Minneapolis-Whitmire vs Ribas
Amanda Ribas stopped Emily Whitmire in the second round in Minneapolis.
David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Amanda Ribas made the most of her Octagon debut, stopping Emily Whitmire with a rear-naked choke at UFC Minneapolis after a three-year layoff, and has no intention waste any more time.

Ribas signed with the UFC to meet Juliana Lima in her Octagon debut in 2017, but was removed from the bout and suspended two years when an out-of-competition drug test came back positive for ostarine. When the suspension was almost complete, she was cleared by the agency after proven contamination.

As she walked to the eight-sided cage on Saturday night, Ribas admitted she felt the pressure to deliver since the UFC Brazil crew was very high on her since her signing a couple of years ago.

“I tried to control the anxiety because I didn’t want to rush things and end up making mistakes,” Ribas told MMA Fighting on Monday. “I felt (the pressure) because I already am the type of person that puts pressure over myself. But at the same time that they had faith in me, they would say ‘Amanda, relax, you haven’t fought in three years. We expect you to put on a great fight, but if that doesn’t happen, relax. She’s the favorite, so just go there and have fun,’ and that’s what I tried to do.”

The time off added extra pressure over her shoulders, she says, and stopping Whitmire’s winning streak with a rear-naked choke in the second round might cause even more expectation when she enters the Octagon for a second time in the future.

“I think (the pressure) will definitely increase now,” Ribas said with a laugh. “Everybody always expects more from you, and I want more, too. I want to win my next fight in the first round if I can [laughs]. It’s up to me now to control the pressure and anxiety for my next fight and fix the mistakes I made.”

After being forced away from the game for so long, Ribas is now hoping to compete in October. UFC 243 is scheduled for Oct. 5 in Australia, with three Fight Nights shows expected for the next Saturdays. The company has yet to announce the exact location of those Fight Night shows.

“What I really want is to fight in October and I hope it happens,” Ribas said. “It’s enough time to give my body some rest, since I lose a lot of weight, and is a good timeframe because it’s close to my mother’s birthday. I like to fight in special dates like that because it puts more pressure over me, and I like the pressure.”

As for her opponent, the American Top Team strawweight welcomes anyone ranked in the top 15.

“I want something good,” Ribas said. “If they want to bring it, just bring it.”