Photo by Richie Banks/Zuffa LLC

Rose Namajunas wasn’t the only person Amanda Ribas had to worry about ahead of her last fight.

It’s tough to be a professional athlete. Put all the surface-level factors that come with it aside and being a public figure is practically its own job. After five years and counting on the UFC roster under MMA’s brightest lights, Brazilian flyweight and strawweight contender Ribas is no stranger to the attention. However, things went a little too far ahead of her last time out at UFC Vegas 89 this past month.

Ribas, 30, was welcomed to Las Vegas the week of her fight by meeting attempts from an alleged Ukrainian man. According to the man, he and Ribas met during UFC 251 fight week when Ribas was booked to fight Paige VanZant, whom she went on to defeat via a first-round armbar. He’d apparently been mesmerized ever since.

“I don’t remember his name, but he was a bit of a crazy guy,” Ribas told Ag. Fight. “On the first day, I arrived at the hotel — usually the fans are there for us to sign something, take a picture — but this citizen was a little crazy. He kept screaming, ‘Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.’ That same day, the guy at the front desk called my room and said, ‘Amanda, Alex is here wanting to go upstairs.’ Except that Alex is the name of my manager. I said, ‘Hey, the sensei is here now’. He went and said a crazy last name, I said, ‘I don’t know.’ I thought that was kind of weird.

“The next day, when we arrived again at the reception, the young man was waiting. But he said he wanted to talk to me, and I said I couldn’t at the moment. He spoke to my father, handed him a letter, a bracelet and a teddy bear. So far, so normal, because it’s something that happens. I even like it, I love to get gifts. Then I read in the letter that he was in love with me as a man since 2020, that he met me in Abu Dhabi. We went to do some research. This young man, on his social network, it was written that I was his wife, that he lived in such and such a country and was going to move to [my hometown] Varginha [Minas Gerais, Brazil]. There was a picture of a teddy bear, everyone in my family, saying, ‘This is Marcelo, this is Arthur, this is Mirelly, this is Amanda, my wife’. I had some crazy business.”

If the gifts weren’t enough, the stalker continued his pursuit of Ribas throughout the week. Miraculously, the man snuck his way past UFC security in the UFC Performance Institute (P.I.) across the street from the UFC APEX. One way or another, he was determined to keep getting the attention of his “wife.”

Allegedly also a fighter once identified, the UFC kept watch of one-half of the UFC Vegas 89 main event from the man to ensure this was the end of the saga.

“The other day, this citizen managed to get into the P.I., I don’t know how, and he was telling people that I was his wife,” Ribas laughed. “[My manager] Alex [Davis] found out about it first, then he told me. Then he notified the UFC and they left a security guard with me 24 hours a day to be even more protected. It seems that they found out that he is a fighter, and he couldn’t fight in an event because he had taken a sword (laughs).”

Unfortunately for Ribas, there wasn’t a happy ending to her UFC Vegas 89 story. The big main event battle against the former strawweight champion Namajunas saw Ribas come up short via a unanimous decision. The Brazilian has now alternated wins and losses in her last seven fights (13-5 overall) since her first career loss to Marina Rodriguez in January 2021. Coincidentally, the Rodriguez loss came right after Ribas defeated VanZant and met the stalker. This guy doesn’t sound like very good luck.

Ribas is unsurprisingly a good sport about the whole incident in hindsight. As one of the more happy and positive personalities in the entire sport, it certainly makes for quite the memory and was thankfully nothing overly worrisome or dangerous.

“To finish this week that I started single, I went ‘dating,’ I got ‘engaged’ and ‘married,’ I ‘separated,’ too,” Ribas joked. “Because they researched and saw that he had posted on his social networks that he is traveling to another city, that we were separated, but that he wished me all the luck in the world (laughs). It was the most unexpected ‘relationship’ I’ve ever had.”


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Guys, don’t be weird, guys. Please, guys. Don’t be weird. Just please don’t.

Thanks for reading! Happy Friday and have a great weekend, gang.


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Author: Staff

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