Bethe Correia has Ronda Rousey’s attention. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Bethe Correia wants the fight. Ronda Rousey wants the fight. Not so fast, says UFC President Dana White.
Following Correia’s second-round stoppage of Shayna Baszler at UFC 177, a potential showdown with the promotion’s reigning bantamweight queen was the topic du jour. The Brazilian has been targeting Rousey for a while now, building momentum with triumphs over the Olympic judoka’s “Four Horsewomen” stablemates Jessamyn Duke and Baszler in her last two outings.
Shortly after she overwhelmed Baszler with rapid-fire punching combinations against the fence on Saturday night, the woman known as “Pitbull” set her sights on Rousey once again.
“My message to Ronda: If there’s someone who will retire without any losses in the UFC, it’s going to be me. I’m going to retire with the belt, not her,” Correia said.
Correia’s comments did not go unnoticed.
“You know Ronda, as soon as [Correia] started talking, Ronda texted me and said, ‘I want that fight. I want it now. I want it before somebody else beats her,’” White said. “’I said, ‘Calm down lady. You’ve got other people to fight.’ We’ll figure it out.”
According to White, Correia at the very least remains behind Cat Zingano, who faces Amanda Nunes at UFC 178, among women’s bantamweight title contenders. And there is still the possibility that the Las Vegas-based promotion signs Gina Carano for a marquee showdown with Rousey later this year.
“There’s a long list for Rousey waiting right now,” White said. “We’ll see what happens. She’s [Correia] on the list.”
After posting decision triumphs in her first two Octagon appearances, Correia believes she proved herself with a more dominant showing against Baszler. Whether that leads to a shot against Rousey remains to be seen.
“A lot of people were saying that I fight for points, but I wanted to go in there and show that I can finish fights,” she said.
“I’d love to have a chance at the title. I’d love to be champion. I have three fights in the UFC; I’m undefeated right now. I feel that if I had the chance for the title I’d make the most of it.”