Waterson and Esparza sit higher in the rankings than Rodriguez currently, but Ribas dismisses any notion that she’s disappointed by the latest opponent change.

“No, because one is a complement of another one. For me now, I am Amanda Ribas more complete than the Amanda Ribas who fought against Paige [VanZant],” she explains, noting she believes everything happens for a reason. “Maybe it’s not the time for her fight against me. Now is the time for me to fight against Marina. I’ll give my best in the Octagon. Because she’s really tough. Because I am tough, too. And I like to fight.”

That much is evident. The 27-year-old has compiled a 10-1 record since turning pro in 2014, with her lone loss occurring nearly six years ago. In each successive bout, one can witness a continued evolution in her game, a phenomenon she credits to her willingness to learn.

“In all training I learn something. My coaches will say something to me, and I’ll be like ‘Oh my goodness, I didn’t know about that.’ This is good, because it shows me how I can be better. If in training you don’t get one percent better, it was not a good training (session).”

The method has paid obvious dividends in the Octagon, where Ribas seems to be having as much fun as she does outside of it…something relatively difficult to imagine when you speak with her.