Bethe Correia and Shayna Baszler were both on a mission at last night’s UFC 177. Correia wanted to score the biggest win of her budding career and take a step closer to title contention. Baszler, who stepped into the octagon for the first time in her career, was looking to not only pick up her first UFC win, but also avenge the loss of her fellow Four Horsewomen teammate Jessamyn Duke, who Correia beat earlier in the year.
After a close first round, Correia pushed Baszler against the octagon and connected with several blows to finish the “Queen of Spades.” Like many fighters before her, Correia called out UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey – who now wants a crack at the undefeated Brazilian prospect.
At the risk of sounding like Tom Jones, it’s not unusual in combat sports for a hungry young lion – or in this case “Pitbull” to defeat a veteran in the case. However I don’t think Correia is quite for a crack at Rousey.
UFC President Dana White addressed the matter at the press conference. He said Correia still has some opponents to face before she gets her shot at the champion. As of right now there is not a No. 1 contender for Rousey’s title. Cat Zingano could be up for title contention if she beats Amanda Nunes in their fight. The UFC is trying to work out a deal with Gina Carano.
One point White made was that Correia wouldn’t get a title shot because of her rivalry with the four, though he was impressed by her performance.
For Correia to have a title shot, she needs to get one or two impressive wins over some top tier opponents. While Baszler is a big name and one of the pioneers in women’s MMA, she’s not in the top 10. Perhaps the Pitbull could face the loser of Nunes vs. Zingano. Maybe the winner of Miesha Tate vs. Rin Nakai. The possibilities are endless.
And then there are the fans who think Correia should get a title shot over Carano, deeming the former a worthy opponent, which is fine except how many other past opponents of Rousey have people deemed worthy, only to see them finished in the first round – or third in the case of Tate’s rematch.
I know Correia wants to be the one to put the first blemish on the Rowdy one’s perfect record, but there’s always room for improvement and fine tuning your skill set before facing the champion.
If the Pitbull wins her next one or two fights in a similar impressive fashion, then she’ll be ready for Rousey.
Who do you think Correia should fight next? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @cagepagesfs.