Claudio Ribeiro insists he is not too small to compete at middleweight.
Ribeiro (10-2), who weighed in at 181.5 pounds, knocked out Ivan Valenzuela in just 25 seconds during Tuesday's Dana White's Contender Series 50 event, earning himself a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Although Ribeiro believes his power is best utilized at middleweight, he did not appear to rule out a potential move down to welterweight.
“Basically we’re gonna stay at ’85 and gonna continue to run the course and then maybe later think about what’s below,” Ribeiro told reporters..
He continued, “They like to say I’m little for the division, but you know what? Mike Tyson was little for boxing, and he used to knock everyone out. So, I’m gonna be the Mike Tyson of my division.”
“As I said, we’re gonna keep at ’85,” Ribeiro said. “One step at a time, no rush. But if he keeps saying those things, of course we can go down there and get that belt over there, as well.”
UFC president Dana White was questioned about Ribeiro's small weight and his opinions were that the Brazilian would have no trouble making 170 pounds. Even though Ribeiro is adamant on fighting at middleweight, he is open to the possibility of competing at lightweight as well.