Strawweight Tabatha Ricci hopes to score her second Octagon win in impressive fashion at UFC Vegas 55. Paired up against grappler Polyana Viana for the main card’s first bout, ‘Baby Shark’ would like to get a clean submission finish.
Having trained with Mackenzie Dern ahead of the fight, Ricci has faith that her grappling skills are sharp enough to take on a submission artist such as Viana. In fact, Tabatha tells Combate that her opponent’s ground game is the main reason why she was excited to accept the pairing.
“I’ve had a pretty long camp, because I’ve been helping some friends, like Mackenzie Dern and Piera Rodriguez. So we’ve been training hard for a while now. I feel super prepared. I can’t wait to step into the Octagon.”
“I was super excited to face Polyana.” Tabatha said. “I know her jiu-jitsu is high-level. so i think it’s going to be a really good fight. Maybe we’ll put on a jiu-jitsu show for everyone in Brazil who enjoys that. From what I can tell, Polyana likes to stay in guard, so I think we’ll see some ground fighting. I predict a TKO or a submission for this fight.”
In her last outing, Ricci (6-1) defeated Maria Oliveira via unanimous decision, back in October 2021. The 27-year-old’s last and sole loss happened in her Octagon debut, when she got TKO’d by Manon Fiorot, in June of the same year.
Now, Ricci is expected to take on Viana at UFC Vegas 55, on May 21, at the UFC Apex. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a women’s bantamweight bout between former champion Holly Holm and contender Ketlen Vieira.