Like “Nature Boy” Ric Flair during his NWA championship run, UFC women’s bantamweight titleholder “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey will travel to foreign territory to defend her crown.
The UFC has all but confirmed that Rousey (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will defend her title against undefeated prospect Bethe Correia (9-0, 3-0) in the latter’s home country of Brazil, Aug. 1, at UFC 190.
Rousey is coming off a highlight performance against Cat Zingano, who she submitted in 14 seconds. Correia spent 2014 knocking out Shayna Baszler in August and beating Jessamyn Duke in April. She also defeated MMA pioneer Julie Kedzie in her octagon debut.
I’m not surprised the “Pitbull” is getting the next crack at Rousey, though I feel like it has more to do with the Rowdy one wanting a piece of her instead of Correia being an actual contender for the title.
Correia defeated Baszler and Duke, who are both a part of Rousey’s “Four Horsewomen” stable, as well as her charges on “The Ultimate Fighter 18″, and now the champion wants revenge. She wants to play the role of Inigo Montoya and avenge her fallen comrades. She doesn’t care where the fight takes place. She’s used to competing in hostile territory from her Judo days. But other than playing a hero to her friends, Rousey doesn’t really gain anything from taking this fight.
For Rousey’s fans, this fight will be a treat for Rousey’s fanbase – I’ve already heard the cheers and the rhymes of when the Rowdy one will finish the Pitbull – but as a sports writer who would like to see a competitive match, it’s kind of disappointing. It’s good thing they’ve added Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the co-main event.
Correia has a killer instinct and power but she hasn’t fought or beaten a Top 10 competitor. She’s been brave enough to call out Rousey but so has every other female 135-pound fighter who has won a fight in the last several months.
Honestly, I’m surprised that Cris “Cyborg” Justino hasn’t gone this route in her quest in trying to get Rousey to say “yes” to a fight. All she needs to do is convince Kedzie and Invicta president Shannon Knapp to sign Marina Shafir to an Invicta FC contract, book a fight between her and “The Supernova from Moldova”, and beat the tar out of her. After that happens, Rousey will more than likely take the bait and accept Justino’s challenge at catchweight or 145 pounds.
As for Correia, she’s going to have to be really creative in her training and come up with a flexible game plan. If she sticks with the same old routine – one that Rousey can study repeatedly – she’ll be the 12 in the champion’s 12-0.