Beth Correia has been waiting for this moment since she first stepped into the octagon.
The UFC standout and Brazil native has been waiting and calling for a matchup with world No. 1 Ronda Rousey for years and, now, she’s got it. The two will square off in UFC 190 for the batamweight championship on August 1. It’s been a long and drama-filled road for Correia on her way to the match but she hasn’t backed down. If anything, she’s only gotten more confident, despite the odds that are stacked against her. Here’s what you need to know about “Pitbull”:
1. Correia Turned to MMA After She Found She Was ‘Too Hyperactive For Office Work’
Born in Campina Grande, Paraiba, Correia graduated from college with a degree in accounting but could never quite find a job that fit her or her personality. She took up MMA training as a bit of a joke, turning to the workouts as a means to filter the energy she had wile working her office job.
Soon, she couldn’t stop training.
Correia began working with the Pitbull Brothers (Patricky and Patricio Freire) in her native Brazil and finished 6-0 in her first career matches. She told MMAjunkie.com:
It was a very fast trajectory. I haven’t had much time, but with me, it was matter of quality over quantity. In what little time I had, it has all been very intense. I’ve been fully dedicated so I could earn respect for myself. This allowed me to advance rapidly. I’ve been very, very dedicated.
Early in her career, Correia studied a handful of techniques, including jiu-jitsu, Sanda and even amateur wrestling, trying to fine tune in her in-fight approach. Eventually she developed a penchant for a hybrid boxing approach.
2. She Made Her MMA Debut in 2012 & Signed With UFC in 2013
Correia made her professional MMA debut in May 2012, defeating Daniela Maria da Silva by unanimous decision at the First Fight: Revelations show. It was a quick ascension to success for Correia, who won her first six fights in a little over a year. ]
In October 2013, Correia signed a multi-fight deal with UFC and made her promotional debut that December against Julie Kedzie at the UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot, winning by split decision.
Correia, who has not lost in her professional career, won three UFC fights as she looked towards taking on Ronda Rousey in the batamweight title shot. She got her wish in March when UFC officials confirmed the fight for UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro.
3. Correia is a Striker Who Uses Boxing Techniques in Her Fights
After experimenting with a handful of techniques during the early days of her MMA training, Correia developed an approach as a striker, using boxing and grappling techniques to attack her opponent. She’s been frequently recognized for her punching combinations and counter strikes. During her fight against Jessamyn Duke, she recorded 100 strikes to Duke’s 55.
Correia is also well known for her ability to cut of the cage, a strategy sh’es used recently. Essentially, while clinching, she’ll move the fight towards the fence with an aggressive attack , literally putting her opponents in a corner.
4. She Made Headlines for Comments Ahead of Her Fight Against Ronda Rousey
There’s confidence and then there’s crossing the line.
Correia made headlines earlier this month after making comments about Rousey ahead of their championship fight on August 1. The Brazil native told reporters, “She is winning, so everybody is around her cheering her up, but when she realizes she is not everything that she believes she is, I don’t know what might happen. I hope she does not kill herself later on.”
That’s when the fight took a different turn for Rousey, whose father committed suicide after a sledding accident when the champion was just eight years old. Now, Rousey isn’t focused on simply winning. She’s focused on destroying Correia. Rousey recently explained her approach:
If I beat you quickly, that’s me at my nicest and most merciful. 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.
5. Correia is Dating Trainer Edelson Silva
Correia has been dating Edleson Silva, a former boxer who is a member of Anderson Silva’s and Rodrigo Minotauro’s Nogueira team, for several years. The couple were at the center of a controversy earlier this year when, just two days after the announcement of her fight with Ronda Rousey, Correia and Silva were involved in street fight in Rio de Janeiro.
According to reports, the couple, who were also joined by Correia’s sister, had called a taxi to take them to dinner but opted to walk to a restaurant across the street from their hotel once the car had arrived. The driver, Cleonardo de Freitas Alves, wanted to charge them for the fare and things took a very pronounced nosedive from there.
Correia claimed that Alves threatened to grab a gun and got into a fight with Silva. Video shows him throwing a trash can at Silva. She told MMAFighting.com:
He wanted us to pay him five reais (approximately two dollars), and I gave him seven. But he kept asking Edelson for more money, saying we wasted his time. The taxi driver didn’t even recognize me. When the police showed up, they wanted to take Edelson with him, but the hotel’s receptionist said ‘ah, that fighter over was also involved’, so they called my room and asked for me to go with them. The taxi driver didn’t recognize me, but now he wants to use this to become famous. Edelson was just protecting us. This is bulls–t. What would you do if a man says he’s grabbing a gun to threaten your family? Edelson was protecting us.
Correia started to receive death threats, particularly over social media, shortly after the incident went public.
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