Marina Rodriguez not only hit Amanda Ribas so hard that her entire hype train derailed before the thousands inside Etihad Arena and the many more watching—either via a free stream or actually purchasing the overpriced pay-per-view using ESPN’s malfunctioning app—around the world, but the Brazilian prospect, who was pushed toward the back of the UFC’s strawweight line, now sounds…different.
Leading into UFC 257, Ribas received considerable attention from the oddsmakers as well as media. In Ribas’ last trip to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, she glimmered with star potential, submitting Paige VanZant in dominant fashion—all while maintaining the upbeat, playful charisma of a cute, cartoonish character. Many have compared her voice in interviews to that of Borat:
If the bizarre inflection in Ribas’ voice claws at your eardrums, she’s at least easy on the eye—both inside and outside of the Octagon—and there’s always the mute button. Rodriguez, ranked eighth in the division, sucked the wind out of her fellow Brazilian’s sails in one fell swoop, silencing doubters and striking fear in those en route to the champion. The cage side physicians were puzzled the bones in Ribas’ face were still in tact, but they were even more confused at what came out of her mouth; for some reason or another—just another one of those medical miracles—Ribas sounded just like Morgan Freeman:
It’s unclear where Ribas the athlete goes from here, but with vocal cords radiating rich, comforting tones, she’ll certainly be busy with voice over work until the next contract is signed.