Words

Ronda Rousey Sets Her Sights on Bethe Correia

Fightland Blog

By Andreas Brauning

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

It’s no secret that Brazilian bantamweight Bethe “Pitbull” Correia has beef with Ronda Rousey, although it remains a bit vague as to where it really comes from. Bethe has accused Ronda of being a bad champion in the past because, according to Bethe, she only does it for herself, because she’s selfish, because she’s only interested in the “fame” aspect of being the champion. She has criticized Ronda’s aspirations to become a Hollywood actor—a career that seems to be well on its way—to look “done up” and any other “capricious behavior” Ronda Rousey might display. 

Most likely it’s just the unrelenting competitive hunger in Bethe Correia. At 31-years-old, Bethe’s been a professional mixed martial artists only since 2012, and perhaps is trying to make up for a late start in the sport. Since 2012, however, she’s amassed a powerful record of nine wins and no losses. 

But maybe Ronda does just rub her the wrong way. She rubs Cyborg the wrong way, too. Maybe it’s a Brazilian ladies thing—as it stands, Claudinha Gadelha was the only dominant Brazilian name in the UFC’s women’s divisions until stained her immaculate record with a loss to Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Herica Tiburcio is on her way up, but she’s got some ways ahead of her. And in the bantamweight division, none of the top five is from Brazil. And being from Brazil, where mixed martial arts are second only to futebol, it must be utterly unbearable to see no name hailing from Latin America’s largest MMA factory amidst the rarified airs of the rankings’ summit. In any case, Bethe has been clamoring to get a shot at Ronda Rousey, who has provided absolutely no signs of loosening her tight grip around her bantamweight title. For months now, Bethe has been very loud about calling out Ronda Rousey, and while she waits for her chance at the champ, she’s even developed an entire narrative which includes taking down every single one of Ronda’s friends, the other three of the Four Horsewomen. So far, she’s defeated Shayna Baszler and Jessamyn Duke. 

It seems like Bethe might just have gotten Ronda’s attention now. On Thursday during an interview for the Jay Mohr Sports podcast, she said that she not only is down to face the Pitbull, but that she’d gladly do it in Brazil, on some Rocky IV shit: ”I want to go and fight her in Brazil and beat her in her hometown. That would be the best way I could really feel like I've vindicated my friends, to go to her hometown and beat her in her hometown and be total Rocky IV on it.”

"There is this young, up-and-coming Brazilian chick with an undefeated record that beat two of my friends and has been trying to rub it in my face," Rousey said. "Pretty much trying to get in an argument with me, because when you're in an argument with me, you're suddenly more important. I guess this chick figured that out. Messing with mama bear is a very bad idea. She might be next on my radar.”


Although her wins haven’t been as dominant as Ronda’s, Bethe is a dangerous opponent. And now that there’s no one else, really, to face Ronda—since she’s beaten everyone, it’s unclear what the future holds with Cyborg and Holly Holm will probably take on some other fights before getting a title shot—it might just be her time to challenge.

 

Check out these related stories:

Bethe Correia Continues to Vie for a Shot at Ronda

Who’s Afraid of Bethe Correia?

Hunting the Horsewomen: Bethe Correia's Path to Ronda Rousey

 

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