Known for her temperament, one-time UFC bantamweight title challenger Bethe Correia rarely avoids controversy and drama in the MMA world. Between loads of trash talk and fierce pre-fight confrontations leading up to her UFC appearances, Correia has always made it clear that she hasn’t started the sport in search of friendships. And while that degree of frankness bothers a fair share of fans and fighters, the “Pitbull” unsurprisingly doesn’t care a whole lot about her public perception.
So, with a main event fight set against former champion Holly Holm on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 111 in Singapore, Correia hasn’t changed a thing in that regard. Even before fight week started, the two rivals exchanged words and stares at every opportunity, among them a press conference last month in Dallas, Texas.
“I don’t care about my rivals at all”, Correia told Ag. Fight. “[It doesn’t matter] if they think good or bad about me. For me, rivals are rivals. I think more about what my family and friends think about me.”
That, among other things, is why you shouldn’t expect Correia to become soft-spoken and politically correct anytime soon.
“I think this is my sincerity, everyone is born with this gift of being able to speak [honestly], to endure criticism, to listen to something and to debate […]. I’m not afraid to say what I think in search of [my] ideals. I will never change. When I’m being asked what I think about my opponent, I tell the truth. I won’t hold anything back for the fear of pissing someone off.”
Claiming that she is more complete as a fighter and better suited for the sport of MMA than her opponent, a former world boxing champion, Correia is aware of the caliber of the challenge in front of her. But while Correia will have to overcome a considerable height and reach disadvantage against Holm, these numbers have become a theme in her career.
“I’m accustomed to fighting girls with a bigger reach than mine”, Correia said. “I’m the one that has the smallest reach in my division, I’ve always fought girls that are bigger than me, so I only had to make a little adaptation to face a southpaw.”
With a record of 10-2-1 and four wins in the UFC, 11-ranked Correia sports one victory and a draw in her last two fights and is looking to get back into the Top 10 at UFC Singapore.