The UFC heads back to the UFC APEX on Dec. 9 for UFC Vegas 83, which is the next-to-last event of 2023. The calendar year will culminate with UFC 296 at the T-Mobile Arena one week later. After UFC 296 is the awkward four weeks where there will be no UFC events.
The headliner for UFC Vegas 83 is Song Yadong vs. Chris Gutierrez, which promises to be a banger of a fight. The UFC has also managed to salvage last week's canceled fight between Steve Garcia and Melquizael Costa. The main card will also host the bout between Khalil Rountree Jr. and Anthony Smith, which was originally scheduled for Austin, TX, with Smith coming in on short notice.
Building up to these fights are an opener between Daniel Marcos and Carlos Vera, as well as a women's strawweight bout featuring two debuting fighters Talita Alencar and Rayanne Amanda. Alencar may sound familiar, as she competed in season 7 of Dana White's Contender Series, where she fought to a draw with Stephanie Luciano.
Amanda is probably a lesser-known name unless you intently follow smaller promotions, such as Invicta, where Amanda has her last two wins, including a title fight against Jillian DeCoursey. Despite her professional fighting career spanning back to 2015, Amanda is only 28 years old, which is often considered an athlete's prime years.
Rayanne Amanda appeared on DWCS in 2022
Fighting out of Brazil and representing the Marajo Brothers, Amanda spent several years jumping between smaller promotions and fought twice for Shooto Brasil. Amanda also received an opportunity to compete on DWCS in 2022, but fell short against Denise Gomes, who has spilt her four fight career in the UFC.
Amanda's upcoming test against Alencar will likely come down to effective wrestling, patience, and experience, or lack thereof. On paper, there is not a significant statistical difference between them and their training pedigrees are relatively similar. Alencar struggled with Luciano's length on DWCS and that drew heavily on her cardio.
Amanda's title victory with Invicta FC was a five-round decision, so her cardio checks out. If Amanda can push the pace early, she may find herself in a position to sink into a submission. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Amanda is currently a -150* favorite.
*Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.