Jan. 23, 2021, 10:44 p.m. ET
Early in the first round, Amanda Ribas, the betting favorite, dumped underdog Marina Rodriguez on her back, then spent the next few minutes grinding her opponent into the canvas, the fight unfolding the way bettors figured it would.
But Rodriguez, 33, is a Muay Thai kickboxing specialist, and dangerous in fights that don’t go to the ground. So in the second, when Ribas waded in close, looking to engage, Rodriguez popped her with a straight right hand. When Rodriguez pounced to finish the fight, referee Herb Dean moved in and appeared to tap Rodriguez, which could have signaled an end to the fight. An awkward pause ensued. Then the fight resumed. Then Rodriguez landed another home run of a right hand and Dean waved the fight off before Ribas, standing but barely conscious, could absorb more damage.
Rodriguez improves her record to 12-1-2, while Ribas, 27, falls to 10-2.