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The final bout of ex-Ultimate Fighting Championship title challenger Bethe Correia’s career will have to wait a little while longer.
Correia (11-5-1) posted on Instagram earlier in the week announcing that her matchup with Yanan Wu (11-3) will be shifting from UFC on ESPN 19 to the Jan. 16 Fight Night event. A reason was not given for the unexpected change in the date.
In her post, Correia wrote (via Google Translate), “Soon I will be living this moment again! Not in December, but January 16th!” Subsequent posts for Correia have included the hashtag “UFC Fight Island,” which appear to confirm the location of the Jan. 16 fight card at the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Subsequent events like UFC 257 are expected to take place in that venue.
This is to be Correia’s final MMA fight, although she was previously released by the organization after her loss to Pannie Kianzad at UFC on ESPN 14 in July. Instead, the UFC kept her on the roster to allow the 37-year-old to have her final bout.
The Brazilian started her career at a perfect 9-0, earning her title shot with a trio of wins over Julie Kedzie, Jessamyn Duke and Shayna Baszler. The latter two were members of then-champ Ronda Rousey’s team, providing the storyline of Correia against the team while also pitting two unbeaten fighters against one another for the belt. After her loss to Rousey, a 34-second knockout, Correia has fallen on hard times. “Pitbull” went on to lose four of seven following the Rousey match, with a draw to Marion Reneau in the midst of her struggles. Correia did record decision wins over Jessica Eye and Sijara Eubanks to remain ranked for the time.
China’s Wu initially came to the promotion as a bantamweight. When she dropped a decision, she relocated to flyweight briefly, but a bad weight miss and a subsequent loss against Mizuki Inoue in August 2019 prompted her return to 135 pounds. The 24-year-old nicknamed “Mulan” posts an impressive finish rate of 82 percent – far greater than her opponent’s 18 percent stoppage rate – with each of her last seven victories coming inside the distance.
The UFC event on Jan. 16 is currently the first event scheduled by a major organization in the new year, and the headliner will be a featherweight clash between Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar. An additional main card tilt sees welterweight strikers Santiago Ponzinibbio and Muslim Salikhov come to blows.
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