UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey puts her undefeated record and 135-pound title on the line this weekend against hard-hitting Brazilian boxer Bethe Correia, according to a July 31 report from Time. Rousey, 28, is a world-renowned judo player, but does she have the skills to neutralize Correia’s standup skills? That’s the question that will be answered in the UFC 190 headliner.
Here’s the thing: Rousey has faced several high-level grappling standouts and submission artists, but when it comes to striking, she hasn’t battled anyone even close to the level of Correia. Rousey’s past three opponents — Cat Zingano, Sara McMann and Alexis Davis — were each primarily known for wrestling or submissions. None of them were boxers.
With Correia known mostly for her striking skills, she represents Rousey’s most intriguing challenge to date. Make no mistake: The UFC 190 headliner is a classic battle of submission ace versus striker, and whoever wins will be the one who is able to implement their game plan.
Rousey is obviously going to want to get the fight to the mat as soon as possible, while Correia will look to keep it standing. Its going to be a short night for Rousey if she’s unable to get the fight to the mat, as Correia appears to be one of the UFC’s best female strikers at 135 pounds.
She easily won each of her first three UFC fights. Additionally, Correia will have the support of the Brazilian crowd, as she’ll be fighting in front of thousands of her hometown fans. Does that mean Rousey will lose at UFC 190? Not at all. Once the cage door locks, no one in the crowd can save Correia from the star judoka.
How will the fight play out? Rousey still heads into the fight as a heavy favorite, but UFC fans shouldn’t underestimate Correia. The fast-rising Brazilian showed off electric footwork and heavy hands in her UFC fights against Jessamyn Duke, Shayna Baszler and Julie Kedzie.
Correia may not have a chance if the fight goes the distance, but she could easily score a flash knockdown if she’s able to land one of her signature right hands to the champ’s chin. Let’s be honest: Rousey has looked almost invincible so far. However, Correia may have the perfect skill-set to beat her.