To paraphrase Michael Corleone, it’s not business for Ronda Rousey.
Two months afterBethe Correia made uncouth statements mocking tragedies in Rousey’s personal life,it was clear thatanger still resonated with every word the UFC Women’s bantamweight champion uttered.
“Everything up until the suicide comment could have been understandable from a marketing point of view, but once she said that it’s when it crossed the line and became truly personal for me,”Rousey said in a nearly hour long conference call with reporters late Monday afternoon to promote this Saturday’s UFC 190 pay-per-view.
The Aug. 1 card in Rio de Janeirobegins on Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m.. Rousey and Carreiawill likely begin brawling around 11:55 p.m..
Both fighters come into the bout with perfect records; Rousey is 11-0 and Correia is 9-0.
The fight will mark Rousey’s sixth title defense in the UFC and, with the possible exception of her third round submission of longtime rival Miesha Tate at UFC 168 on Dec. 28, 2013, one in which she possess true animosity toward her challenger.
Correia earned Rousey’s ire in May by telling Brazilian website Combate she hopes Rousey “does not kill herself” should she lose the fight. Rousey has spoken about her father’s suicide and how it has affected her.
According to MMAMania.com, which translated the comments, Correia said she wants “to knock her out, [to] show everyone that she is a lie. She wants to stand up with me, let’s see. I want to humiliate her and show world she [doesn’t possess] MMA [skills]. She is focused on movies, books. I am much stronger. I come from a developing country where people are struggling to survive, [and] not starve. It is very difficult from her life of reality. Under pressure, she is proving weak. When her mom put pressure on her, she ran away from home. When she lost, it was because of drugs. That’s not a superhero. She is not mentally healthy. She needs to take care of herself. She is winning so everybody is around her cheering her up, but when she realizes she is not everything that she believes she is, I don’t know what might happen. I hope she does not kill herself later on.”
Rousey’s response was unequivocal when the subject was broached.
“I’m going to beat up Bethe,” Rousey said, before noting her mother, AnnMaria DeMars, was “pissed” about her vow to prolong the fight in order to inflict damage to Correia. “She wants me to end it as quick as possible and I promised her I’m going to be fine, I’m not going to take any damage and if it goes any longer it’s because I’m punishing her more. I’m purposely not going to not finish her if I see something, but I can still drag it out and make the finish a little more thorough.”
Earlier in the day, UFC announced its main card for the UFC 191 pay-per-view, which will be headlined by flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson facing off against John Dodson for the second time. Other fights include Anthony Johnson meeting Jan Blachowicz in a light-heavyweight showdown, a women’s straw weight bout between Paige VanZant and Alex Chambers, and a men’s bantamweight showdown involving Franciso Rivera and John Lineker.
UFC 191 will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.