Few professional athletes have dominated their sport in recent years like Ronda Rousey. The UFC women’s bantamweight champion has made a habit of quickly dismissing her opponents, and her title fight at UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Saturday night could be more of the same.
This time it will be Bethe Correia that challenges Rousey, who is looking to improve her career UFC record to 12-0. Correia also enters the fight undefeated with nine victories on her resume, but she’s never stepped inside the octagon with the world’s top female fighter.
Oddsmakers certainly aren’t giving Correia much of a chance, making her a bigger underdog than any of Rousey’s recent opponents. Rousey is a -1500 favorite at Bovada.lv, while Correia has been given +750 betting odds. The best line against Rousey in her Feb. 28 fight against Cat Zingano had her listed as less than a -600 favorite, and the champ could be had at -700 odds against Alexis Davis in July of last year.
Despite Rousey’s dominance, Correia hasn’t been shy about expressing her belief that she will win.
“They’ve built her up to be this invincible fighter from the United States that no one is going to be able to beat,” Correia told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m going to show that’s a farce, and I’m going to beat her.
“I believe in myself. I’m going to go in there and beat her. I think I can overcome all her strong points. Her weaknesses? I’m not even worried about that. I know what I need to do in there. She doesn’t trade punches. In 11 fights, she’s never really shown her boxing, so I’m going to go in there and box with her.”
Correia has hopes of becoming the new champ, but lasting more than one round with Rousey would be an accomplishment in itself. In Rousey’s 11 career fights, only one opponent has gone beyond the first round. Miesha Tate lasted until the third round at UFC 168 in 2013, but she was the victim of a first-round submission when Rousey beat her in the previous year.
If her last two fights are any indication, Rousey might not break a sweat against Correia. She needed just 30 total seconds to beat Zingano and Davis, forcing Zingano to tap to an armbar and knocking out Davis with a series of punches to the head.
Three fights ago, Sara McMann lasted 66 seconds with the champ before losing via TKO, and Saturday’s fight could produce a similar result.
"If I beat you quickly, that's me at my nicest and most merciful," Rousey told TMZ. "That means you get to go home unscathed with a paycheck. If I make the fight last longer, that means I don't like you and I want you to go home looking different than the way you walked in. And I don't like this chick."
Correia hasn’t fought in nearly a year, defeating Shayna Baszler at UFC 177 with a second-round TKO. All but two of her nine fights have gone the distance.
Prediction: Rousey by first-round submission