The time for speculation about Ronda Rousey’s next opponent is over. It ain’t gonna be Laila Ali, and it ain’t gonna be a man. It won’t even be that crazy cheerleader who must be angling for free rhinoplasty work. Ronda’s next fight will be against Brazilian slugger Bethe Correia on August 1 in Rio de Janeiro.
Correia has a Wanderlei Silva-like reputation for beating many of her opponents from post-to-post in violent fashion. What’s more, she has made it her personal mission to gun for Rousey by targeting her training partners, members of the group known as “The Four Horsewomen” (a play on the classic Four Horsemen of pro wrestling).
She only had to beat two — Shayna Baszler and Jessamyn Duke — to raise the ire of Rousey, who announced the fight by saying, “This chick is gonna learn why I’m the last woman on Earth you should f*ck with on August 1.”
She expanded on that at the fight announcement press conference:
“I would definitely say this is personal. My dad had a great saying when someone needed to be shown what’s up – he would say that this person needs to have a come to Jesus meeting. Bethe is going to have her own come to Jesus meeting in Brazil. I’m going to come right down here, I promised Brazilian fans I would do whatever I could to come down here and fight. I meant my promise and I’m happy to come down here and entertain you guys while I discipline this girl.”
“I understand Bethe’s tactics, and I understand why she went about things as she did … The fact is, in order to get a title shot as quickly as possible, she disrespected my friends, which I consider my family. And if you f*ck with my family, you are f*cked.”
“This fight is more than just about an athletic competition. It’s about proving a point and punishing someone. I felt like if I’m really going to make an example out of Bethe — I don’t just want to defeat her. I want her to leave that arena embarrassed. The best way to do it is to come here and beat her in her own backyard.”
Correia opens up at a +1500 underdog, but at this point, that’s the odds you’d see on any woman in the bantamweight division facing Ronda. While an upset is unlikely, she will be the most powerful striker Rousey has faced and definitely more of a challenge than past opponents like Alexis Davis and Sara McMann.
The fight will also set Brazil alight with Ronda fever, which in turn leads into a potential superfight with 145-pound Invicta champion Cris Cyborg. With the Rousey/Correia fight happening in August, that gives Cyborg nearly a year to get to 135 pounds and meet Rousey in the cage. What a Christmas present that would be!