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Bethe Correia to Face Shayna Baszler at UFC 176, Because Grudge Match


(We now to go to our post-fight celebration expert, Michael Kelso, for analysis.)

Not since Nick Diaz invented the Stockton Heybuddy have we seen a fighter gain so much notoriety for a hand gesture, but that seems to be the case with one Bethe Correia. Whether us MMA fans will admit it or not, we all get a semi at the thought of an honest grudge match between MMA fighters, and when Correia silently dissed the “Four Horsewoman” following her victory over Jessamyn Duke at UFC 172, it was pretty much a done-deal that she would face one of the three remaining members in her next UFC contest.

But being that Marina Shafir just turned pro and that Ronda Rousey is Ronda Rousey, all roads lead to Shayna Baszler, the ten year veteran and final member of the ill-named MMA supergroup. As such, UFC officials announced last night that Correia and Baszler will in fact throw down at UFC 176: Aldo vs. Mendes 2 on August 2nd in what is sure to be billed as “an intense rivalry between a rising contender and a savvy veteran.”

While the undefeated Correia has scored two straight victories in the UFC over Duke and the now-retired Julie “Cat Lady” Kedzie, Baszler has not actually competed since getting upset by eventual season winner Julianna Pena in the TUF 18 quarterfinals. Her last professional contest ended in equally disappointing fashion, as she was choked out by current title challenger Alexis Davis in the third round of their scrap at Invicta FC 4. Baszler was scheduled to face Sarah Kaufman at the TUF Nations Finale last month before being forced out of the contest with an injury.

Should Correia get past Baszler, it would all but guarantee a title shot against Rousey, if only for the “WWE-style narrative” that’s been established. That’s according to Rousey, anyway (via MMAJunkie):

This chick is undefeated. She’s fighting Shayna, so Shayna’s UFC debut is either going to be a huge win for Shayna or this girl is going to be still undefeated, and I’m going to have a huge title fight because this girl is going to have fought both of my girls and is coming after me.

I think Shayna can f—ing handle it and will shove this s–t in this girl’s face, but there’s no lose in this situation. It’s a huge win for Shayna, or it’s a huge setup for a fight.

If Miesha Tate can get a title shot and she hadn’t even won a single match in the UFC, this chick who’s undefeated and beat two of my friends could be a very interesting fight for me.

Ladies of the bantamweight division, take note: Win a couple fights and include some obscure gestures in your post-fight celebration and you too can earn the chance to be armbarred by Ronda Rousey. GINA CARANO WHO?

-J. Jones

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