UFC women’s bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey needed only 34 seconds to underscore her dominance of her sport as she knocked out challenger Bethe Correia in the main event of UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro.
Rousey, who was highly motivated to beat Correia after the challenger involved her family in pre-fight trash talk, showed off her highly improved striking game and an iron chin.
“Rowdy” walked through Correia’s punches and landed the stronger strikes, including a right hand to the temple that sent the Brazilian crashing to the Octagon mat.
“I planned to, instead of trying to push the clinch, to overwhelm her with strikes so she would want to clinch first, and that’s exactly what happened,” Rousey explained after the fight.
“That’s exactly how we planned it out – to overwhelm her so she went for a clinch, and it was up to me whether to triangle for a takedown or keep going, so I guess she can’t really say anything about my hands anymore, huh,” she added.
Rousey came out firing, but Correia was able to respond with punches of her own before the champion momentarily sent the Brazilian to the mat by pushing her. Correia was able to get back up, only for Rousey to push her up against the fence and land several flush shots and a knee.
The end came for Correia just 34 seconds into the round after Rousey landed a right hand right on the temple, and then another left for good measure. Correia had no answer and the referee called a stop to the fight, giving Rousey her 12th consecutive victory.
Rousey has now finished 11 of her fights in the first round.
Rousey immediately paid tribute to late WWE superstar “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in her post-fight interview, noting that the sports entertainment legend gave her permission to use the “Rowdy” nickname back when she was just starting in mixed martial arts.
“We lost a really close friend, Rowdy Roddy Piper, who gave me permission to use his name. So I hope he and my dad had a good time watching this today,” said Rousey of Piper, who died yesterday at age 61 due to a heart attack.
Her father was also a huge source of motivation for Rousey coming into the fight. Correia, in an interview in May, said she hoped Rousey would not kill herself after losing her title. Rousey’s father had committed suicide when the fighter was eight years old.
“I hope that nobody really brings up my family anymore when it comes to fights,” said Rousey afterwards. “I hope this is the last time.”
Rousey’s last three fights have lasted a combined 64 seconds: she knocked out Alexis Davis in 16 seconds at UFC 175 in July 2014, then submitted Cat Zingano in 14 seconds at UFC 184 last February.
In the co-main event, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua defeated Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via unanimous decision in a rematch that took 10 years to make
The judges scored the bout 29-28 across the board for “Shogun,” who hiked his record to 23-10.