Juliana Lima was not without an opponent for long.
“Ju Thai” was uncertain if she would be able to compete in a few weeks due to her original opponent Amanda Ribas, being flagged by USADA. An out-of-competition sample had the UFC debutant pulled from the Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale card leaving Lima without a dance partner for a few days. The Las Vegas Review Journal initially reported that perennial strawweight contender and fellow American Top Team fighter Tecia Torres would eventually answer the call. Torres would take her teammate’s Ribas spot on the TUF Redemption Finale and will look to get her second win in 2016.
Focus on school in the past couple of years have limited Torres’ in cage appearances. Her fight in February against Bec Rawlings was her first since her split decision loss to Rose Namajunas in April of 2016, which was her only fight that year. Lima has also had some misfortune with matchups and opponents recently. JJ Aldrich was a late notice replacement for TUF winner Tatiana Suarez in her last fight and Lima has only competed three times since 2015.
The matchup allows both women a unique challenge at this point in their careers. Tecia will be facing a competent well-rounded fighter and Lima will have a chance to show how much she’s improved against a competent striker since her promotional debut against Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale will take place on Friday July 7th, during International Fight Week, one day prior to UFC 213 and will air on Fox Sports 1. The event will be held at the T-Mobile arena, the same venue that will host 213 the next day and will be headlined by a sure-fire action fight between top lightweight Michael Johnson and former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje. Details have yet to emerge on Ribas’ situation and when she might be able to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, if at all.