Bethe Correia (born June 22, 1983) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist. She currently competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's women's bantamweight division.
Bethe Correia was born in Campina Grande, Paraiba. She graduated from college with a degree in accounting, but gradually found that she was "too hyperactive for office work." While practicing Sanda, Correia concluded that fighting provided what had been "missing" in her life, and sought to compete in mixed martial arts (MMA).
Mixed martial arts career
Correia studied a number of techniques at the onset of her MMA career, including jiu-jitsu, Sanda, and amateur wrestling. She would eventually develop a preference for striking, particularly boxing and kickboxing.
She made her professional MMA debut in her native Brazil in May 2012, defeating Daniela Maria da Silva by unanimous decision at the First Fight: Revelations show. Training with the "Pitbull" brothers, Patrício and Patricky Freire, she won her first six fights within 13 months.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
In October 2013, Correia signed a multi-fight deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Correia noted, "Being in the UFC is having the chance to fight with the best in the world and accept big challenges. It's the dream of any fighter."
Correia made her promotional debut the following December as she faced MMA veteran Julie Kedzie at UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot. At the time, Correia had fought in six professional bouts, while Kedzie had competed in 28. Correia won the fight via split decision.
She then faced Jessamyn Duke on April 26, 2014 at UFC 172. Despite her reach disadvantage, Correia used quick striking to out-point Duke, and closed the gap by backing Duke toward the cage. She won the fight by unanimous decision.
Correia faced Shayna Baszler on August 30, 2014 at UFC 177. After escaping a submission attempt in the first round, Correia became more aggressive with her striking and won by TKO at 1:56 of round 2.
Bantamweight title shot
Following her third consecutive win in the UFC, Correia was challenged by former Strikeforce bantamweight champions Sarah Kaufman and Miesha Tate. "A lot of girls from the UFC roster want a bout with me," Correia noted. She initially expressed interest in fighting Kaufman, but later stated that she was focused on getting a title shot against UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. "I want to face the champion," she said.
After her earlier victory over Duke, a member of Rousey's informal "Four Horsewomen" stable, Correia began campaigning for a title shot against Rousey, holding four fingers to the camera and symbolically putting one down. She did likewise after beating Horsewoman Baszler. In March 2015, UFC officials confirmed that Correia would fight Rousey for the title on August 1, 2015, at UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro.
Despite the fact that Rousey had finished all but one of her previous fights within a round, Correia displayed much confidence heading into the bout, stating that she planned to give Rousey the worst beating of her career. She also expressed a desire to win by knockout.
Correia is a striker who largely uses boxing and grappling techniques. She is recognized for her punching combinations, counter strikes, spinning back fists, and aggressive right hands. During her fight against Jessamyn Duke, she led by 100 strikes to Duke's 55.
Correia is known for her use of dirty boxing and cutting off the cage. While clinching, she will usually move the fight toward the fence and attack with flurries At UFC 172, she used this technique to negate Jessamyn Duke's reach; she later used it to earn her stoppage against Shayna Baszler.