UFC strawweight Amanda Ribas has noble plans for her most recent UFC Performance of the Night bonus.
Ribas (12-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) recently added to her highlight reel by stopping Luana Pinheiro at UFC Fight Night 232 with a furious flurry of strikes that began with a beautiful wheel kick. The finishing sequence earned her the second $50,000 bonus of her UFC tenure, and she plans to use that money to accelerate a plan to build a local institute for local youth to learn martial arts and stay away from bad influences on the street.
“I think the children that doesn’t have nothing to do, they put this energy into bad things,” Ribas recently told MMA Junkie. “So, this new gym will have MMA fights, jiu jitsu, some games to learn. Some English classes, Portugese classes in the afternoon for them when they don’t have nothing, so they don’t pass the time in the streets.
“I have the project all here in my mind. After school, they come here and do something and put their energy here, and not in the streets.”
Ribas hopes to have construction on the new building which is right across the street from her family’s gym, Academia Ribas Family in Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brazil completed by next year. She hopes to attract children in the area who may not have a positive influence at home, whose parents may be in jail, or no positive adult role models to look up to.
“For me, I see my Dad, I want to do as my Dad, or as my Mom,” Ribas said. “They don’t have this. So who do they put as the idol in their mind? Like, ‘When I grow up I want to be like this guy.’ The bad guy in the street who sell drugs, who sells something bad.
“I want to put this institute here, this gym here, so they can look at me and say, ‘I want to be as Amanda Ribas, because she is from here, Varginha, she trains here in my neighborhood, and she conquered the world. She buy a gym, she buy a house, she buy everything with a good vibe.’ Even the children that won’t be athletes, if they come here and study or do something to get focus, to get discipline to be a good person in the future.”
This story originally appeared on MMA Junkie