Ronda Rousey promised to brutalize Bethe Correia at UFC 190, and it took her just 34 seconds to face plant the Brazilian contender with a vicious knockout Saturday night in Brazil.
It was the third straight fight Rousey has won in less than a minute, following 14- and 16-second stoppages that captivated the sports world.
The fight had gotten personal for Rousey in the weeks and months leading to the matchup. Correia said she hoped Rousey wouldn’t commit suicide after losing, and that hit far too close to home for the UFC champ, who lost her father as a child when he took his own life.
The remark sparked a new kind of disdain inside Rousey as she got ready to face Correia in her home country of Brazil, and she vowed to punish the brash upstart before putting her away.
Rousey came out guns blazing at the opening bell and began winging punches at Correia in wild fashion, trying to score the early knockout.
The fury slowed for just a moment as Rousey backed Correia up against the cage wall and began opening up a huge barrage of strikes, one after the other in rapid-fire fashion.
It was a right hand that finally sliced through her opponent’s defense, followed by a short left that sent Correia crashing to the mat face first as referee John McCarthy quickly swooped in to stop the fight.
“I planned to instead of force a clinch, to overwhelm her striking first so that she would want to clinch first,” said Rousey, who improved to 12-0, including 6-0 in the UFC. “That’s exactly what happened.
“This is exactly how we planned it out, was to overwhelm her, she went for the clinch and it was up to me whether to go for a takedown or keep going, so I guess she can’t really say anything about my hands anymore, huh?”
Correia, who suffered her first loss in 10 fights, appeared to be out cold as Rousey smiled and ran across the Octagon in celebration.
It was clear from their interviews leading into UFC 190 that Correia struck a real nerve with Rousey after making the reference to suicide while promoting the fight. Rousey was beyond angry with Correia for the comment, and after the win the reigning bantamweight champion sent a message to future challengers.
“I hope no one really brings up my family anymore when it comes to fights and I hope this is the last time,” Rousey said.
Rousey also fought with another purpose on Saturday night: to honor professional wrestling icon “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who died this week at the age of 61. Piper gave Rousey permission to use his nickname as she embarked on her career as a mixed martial artist.
The two remained friends over the years and Rousey dedicated the fight to him. She paid tribute to Piper again with her post-fight comments following another lopsided victory.
“I just want to say we lost a really close friend, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who gave me permission to use his name as a fighter, so I hope him and my dad had a good time watching,” Rousey said.
From the sound of things, Rousey won’t be taking much time off between fights because she already stated her intention to fight No. 1 contender and longtime rival Miesha Tate for a third time in the near future, before leaving to film “Mile 22” with Mark Wahlberg for two months in 2016.
For now, Rousey will bask in the glory of another dominant victory as the legend surrounding the best fighter on the planet continues to grow every time she steps foot in the UFC Octagon.