There was no question regarding who the Rio crowd favored during Friday’s weigh-in of UFC 190 main event contenders Ronda Rousey and Bethe Correia, but there might have been a bit of a surprise. Rousey, the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, elicited more cheers than her Brazilian challenger.
“I know a lot of people aren’t rooting for me, but I’m gonna fight for Brazil,” Correia said through an interpreter after weighing in at 134 pounds.
Rousey, meanwhile, thanked the crowd for their support before adding she’s going to deliver them “the most devastating loss you’ve ever seen,” referring to her personal beef with Correia.
Correia, like Rousey enters the fight undefeated, first got Rousey’s attention by taunting the star after defeating two of Rousey’s friends in the Octagon, Jessamyn Duke and Shayna Baszler. Things got even more personal in May, when Correia trash-talked Rousey with allusions to Rousey’s dad’s suicide — a taunt Correia did apologize for but one that Rousey refused to accept.
In response, Rousey has said on multiple occasions that she plans to extend the fight as long as she can.
“If I beat you quickly, that’s me at my nicest and most merciful,” Rousey told TMZ this week. “That means you get to go home unscathed with a paycheck. If I make the fight last longer, that means I don’t like you and I want you to go home looking different than the way you walked in … and I don’t like this chick.”
Only three of Rousey’s 11 miexed martial arts fights have surpassed the 66-second mark, according to FiveThirtyEight. Her last fight, against Cat Zingano on Feb. 28, lasted just 14 seconds, the fastest submission and the shortest title bout in UFC history.
Rousey, an Olympic medalist in judo, prefers winning via submission — particularly with her infamous armbar. But Rousey has promised a pummeling that could go beyond one round. If Rousey goes through with her plan, however, that might give her underdog opponent a chance to do her own damage.
Nicknamed “Pitbull,” the 32-year-old Correia (9-0) has beatern her opponents with punches, so if Rousey doesn’t take control of her arms immediately, that could spell initial trouble for the champ.
“Correia mixes up body punches and head strikes very well,” MMA Mania’s Andrew Richardson writes. “It allows her to land at a surprisingly high rate and with good accuracy, slipping around her opponents’ defenses.”
Correia has never faced an opponent as dominant as Rousey, however, so while she might get a few strikes in, it’s unlikely that she’ll be able to keep up the momentum.
“Rousey is universally predicted to walk through Bethe Correia, to the extent that she’s on track to being the biggest favorite in UFC history,” Bloody Elbow’s Phil Mackenzie writes.
Just how big of a favorite? Per BestFightOdds.com, the popular betting site Bovada has Rousey at -1400 and Correia at +700, meaning to win $100 on Rousey, you have to plunk down a $1,400 bet. A $100 bet on Correia, meanwhile, will make you $700. No other fight on the card is as uneven. So the real bet isn’t really who will win, but how and when Rousey will win.
Here’s the rest of UFC 190’s main card (the favorites are bolded).
Light heavyweights: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio Rua
Lightweights: Fernando Bruno vs. Glaico Franca
Bantamweights: Dileno Lopes vs. Reginaldo Vieira
Heavyweights: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Stefan Struve
Heavyweights: Soa Palelei vs. Antonio Silva
Strawweights: Jessica Aguilar vs. Claudia Gadelha
The main card pay-per-view is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. Eastern time, directly after the second half of the preliminary card airs on Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. The first half of the preliminary card is set to air on Fight Pass at 7 p.m.