UFC on ESPN 53 results: Rose Namajunas returns to win column with decision over Amanda Ribas

Former UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas picked up a much-needed victory in the main event of UFC on ESPN 53.

Namajunas (12-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC) shared the octagon with Amanda Ribas at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas in a women’s flyweight bout that went all five rounds. When the dust settled, Namajunas emerged victorious over Ribas (12-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC), picking up her first win at 125 pounds by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47).

Ribas was on the hunt early, pressing forward with punches and kicks before Namajunas could settle. Just as the former strawweight champion began finding her range with counters, Ribas switched things up with a nice takedown. The fight quickly got back to the feet, where both fighters would land clean punches before returning to the ground after Namajunas reversed a takedown.

In Round 2, Namajunas circled on the outside during striking exchanges, landing well-timed punches as Ribas looked for a few spinning kicks at the end of her combinations. The former champion’s striking advantage began to shine offensively and defensively.

Namajunas continued her success on the feet early in Round 3 by darting in and out with quick punches. Ribas missed with a few spinning attacks, but got a clean takedown, eventually taking top position after a reversal and another toss to land solid ground and pound to close out the frame.

Striking exchanges led the way in Round 4 before a takedown midway through led to Namajunas taking the top. Ribas was active from her back with short strikes, but so was Namajunas with punches to the body as she maintained position from full guard.

Ribas started the final round with hard kicks, but Namajunas soon began circling and landing clean, darting punches. Ribas continued to look for spinning attacks as she kept forward pressure. Namajunas was quick to evade, then continued to stick and move until the horn.

The judges unanimously scored the fight in Namajunas’ favor, giving the former champ her first win since 2021.

THUG ROSE HAS RETURNED 🌹@RoseNamajunas comes out on top of five hard fought rounds! #UFCVegas89

— UFC (@ufc) March 24, 2024

During her post-fight interview, Namajunas said she will be keeping a close eye on next weekend’s headline bout, Manon Fiorot, and Erin Blanchfield as a potential next opponent.

Namajunas’ last victory came in a strawweight title defense against current champion Zhang Weili. She would go on to lose a split decision to Carla Esparza and then a unanimous decision to Fiorot in a move to flyweight.

Ribas failed to keep the momentum going after a November win over Luana Pinheiro. She has traded wins and losses over her past seven fights, but she has been unable to string together a pair of wins since 2020.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 53 results include:

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