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The Ultimate Fighting Championship is finally starting to put together events that may take place on the fabled “Fight Island.”
Posting on her Instagram on Thursday, Paige VanZant (8-4) hinted at an upcoming matchup by writing “Coming to an island near you…….” Her post was followed by a report on Combate announcing her next fight, which would take place at flyweight against Amanda Ribas (9-1). The two women will tangle at an upcoming card on July 11, and the venue is anticipated to be "Fight Island." The two were first set to meet at UFC Fight Night 170, but a broken arm led to VanZant’s withdrawal.
VanZant has not competed since January 2019, when she tapped Rachael Ostovich with a second-round armbar. The victory snapped a two-fight skid for “12 Gauge,” which saw her get put to sleep by a rear-naked choke from Michelle Waterson in 2016 and then lose a decision to Jessica-Rose Clark in 2018. Multiple broken arms have kept her on the shelf for much of the few several years.
Ribas has won her last four fights, including three inside the Octagon. Since VanZant’s last appearance that January, Ribas has notched wins over Emily Whitmire, Mackenzie Dern and Randa Markos. All three of those bouts have come at strawweight, while VanZant’s last two took place at flyweight. Across her nine career wins, Ribas has knocked out three opponents, tapped three more and beaten another three by decision.
UFC 251 was the original designation of the July 11 event for the promotion, and it was set to take place during International Fight Week. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, International Fight Week has been canceled and it is unclear if the event will still be named the same. No other bouts have been announced for this iteration of the card, although a heavyweight match between Shamil Abdurakhimov and Ciryl Gane has been linked to this July 11 show.