One of the smaller storylines coming into UFC 251 was Paige VanZant betting on herself and fighting out the final fight on her current contract in a women's flyweight bout with Amanda Ribas. There was a reason VanZant came into the fight as an underdog, however, and Ribas showed exactly why, scoring an armbar submission less than three minutes after the fight began. The bout kicked off the Fight Island pay-per-view main card from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
VanZant and Ribas started out the fight exchanging a few strikes before ending up in a clinch against the cage. Ribas had established the better body control and used it to score a trip takedown into side control. VanZant tried to pull her way out of the position, working to take Ribas' back, but Ribas was too slick and transitioned to a belly-down armbar.
Can't get enough UFC? Subscribe to our podcast State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon.
VanZant briefly tried to fight the hold, but was forced to tap out, potentially ending her UFC career with a whimper. The tap came at the 2:21 mark of Round 1.
Ribas is now riding a five-fight winning streak, with three of those victories coming by stoppage. After the win, she addressed fighting out of a small town without the camp or resources of a once-heavily hyped prospect like VanZant.
"Thank you to the UFC to give me an opportunity to fight here and do my work," Ribas said after her win. "I think in this fight I proved myself to the world that it doesn't matter who you are or what you are. What really matters is what you do with your life."
VanZant falls to 5-4 in her UFC career and likely into free agency.
For complete results and recaps of UFC 251, head over to our guide for the event