Ronda Rousey to fight Aug. 1

ByBrett Okamoto ESPN logo
Friday, March 20, 2015

UFC female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey's next title defense will be against undefeated Brazilian Bethe Correia on Aug. 1 in Rio de Janeiro.

UFC president Dana White announced the championship fight during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro on Friday. The 135-pound title fight will headline a UFC 190 pay-per-view, which will take place at HSBC Arena.

Universally considered the top female fighter in the world, Rousey (11-0) is coming off a 14-second submission win against Cat Zingano at UFC 184 on Feb. 28. It was Rousey's fifth title defense, and the quickest finish ever in a UFC title fight.

UFC 190 will be Rousey's first mixed martial arts contest outside North America. She had expressed a desire to fight Correia (9-0), who has recorded wins over two of Rousey's teammates -- Jessamyn Duke and Shayna Baszler.

"I would definitely say this is a personal fight," Rousey said. "My dad used to have a great saying about when somebody needed to be shown what's up. He said, 'This person needs to have a come-to-Jesus moment.' Bethe is going to have her own come-to-Jesus moment in Brazil."

Correia made her professional MMA debut less than three years ago, in May 2012. Seven of her nine wins have gone the distance, although she is coming off a second-round TKO against Baszler at UFC 177 in August. The 31-year-old Brazilian is 3-0 in the UFC.

"This is my dream come true," Correia said through an interpreter. "I see Ronda and her opponents and I usually see their mistakes. I have faith, and my willpower makes me able to beat anybody. I'm going to beat Ronda. I'm going to make her feel the weight of my hand."

Fighting out of Glendale Fighting Club in Southern California, Rousey has recorded a finish in all of her professional bouts, including 10 in the first round.

While she has never had an MMA fight outside North America, Rousey has experience in international competition. In the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, she won a bronze medal in judo as a 21-year-old. She became the inaugural UFC bantamweight champion in late 2012, when the UFC first introduced a female weight class.

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