Tabatha Ricci

Tabatha Ricci previews her upcoming fight against Jessica Penne

Tabatha Ricci has a great opportunity in front of her at UFC Vegas 61.

Originally, Ricci was booked to face Cheyanne Vlismas in a matchup which may have lead to the winner cracking the UFC rankings.

Vlismas would end up pulling out of the fight due to personal reasons and now Jessica Penne stepped up and accepted the fight with Ricci.

Now if Ricci is to get the win, you can almost guarantee that she will be get a number next to her name since Penne is coming into the matchup ranked at No. 15 in the strawweight division.

Ricci isn’t too worried about the ranking system, but is instead she’s focusing on her new opponent as she knows its her toughest test to date.

Penne is former a UFC title challenger and is 3-1 in her last four fights. The loss in that stretch came in her last outing where former Invicta FC strawweight champion Emily Ducote got the better of Penne in a decision win to get herself into the rankings.

For this fight Ricci has really went the extra mile in training. She brought some friends from Fight Ready in Arizona to her came in California to help her prepare and she has been traveling north to Huntington Beach to get some work in with Mackenzie Dern, who will fight in the main event of UFC Vegas 61.

Prior to fight night, Ricci spoke with MyMMANews about her matchup against Penne, her friendships with Vanessa Demopoulos and Dern and her recent Instagram video that went viral where she cracked open a watermelon with her arm.

You can watch her full interview in the video above.

A full list of fights scheduled for UFC Vegas 61 are listed below:
Mackenzie Dern vs. Xiaonan Yan
Cody Garbrandt vs. TBA
Aleksei Olenik vs. Ilir Latifi
Randy Brown vs. Franciso Trinaldo
Raoni Barcelos vs. Trevin Jones
Brendan Allen vs. Krzysztof Jotko
Julia Stoliarenko vs. Chelsea Chandler
Tabatha Ricci vs. Jessica Penne
Randy Costa vs. Guido Cannetti
Sodiq Yusuff vs. Don Shainis
Mike Davis vs. Uros Medic
Jesse Ronson vs. Joaquim Silva

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John Eric Poli