Ronda Rousey is definitely the queen of MMA’s cult of personality – feel free to debate whether or not that’s a good thing – but there’s one fighter who believes she can unseat her from the throne: Bethe Correia, Rousey’s opponent at Saturday’s UFC 190.
Fighting in her home country of Brazil, Correia will undoubtedly be the fan favorite on Saturday night, but oddsmakers have her as a definite underdog, and Rousey has been treating her as such, cracking jokes about her name (it’s pronounced “Betch”) and seizing every opportunity to talk smack about her opponent. Correia eventually responded with a jab of her own – saying she hopes Rousey “does not kill herself” when she loses her title – a comment that raised eyebrows, considering Rousey’s father committed suicide.
Correia subsequently apologized for the remark, but it did little to ease the tension between the two fighters. Especially since Bethe thinks Rousey used the opportunity to turn her into the villain – not to mention advance her own career aspirations.
“I feel like she took something I said and she’s trying to turn it completely around. She’s trying to defame me for that and I’m not going to allow her to burn my name from something that she misinterpreted,” Correia told Fox Sports. “To be honest, when she was crying and being very emotional about my comment, I can tell you I was very proud of her as an actress.
“She did a very good job of interpreting that and she’s on her way to being a big Hollywood star and maybe getting an Oscar soon.”
And while the trash talk has been thoroughly entertaining, with less than a week until the two step inside the Octagon, the woman known as “Pitbull” is ready to stop talking, and start biting.
“Ronda has this characteristic of being this almighty perfect fighter, and the media’s created this illusion that she’s unbeatable. I don’t believe she’s unbeatable,” Correia said. “I can go in there and beat her. She’s trying to create this illusion around herself and it’s making me want to go out there and do justice for everyone else.
“She’s never faced someone who is as strong as I am, physically and mentally,” she continued. “She’s never faced a tough Brazilian who has been through wars and a lot to get here to where I’m at. It’s not that there aren’t other girls who are a test for her, but she just hasn’t faced me – and I know I’m the one that will put up a fight.”