Shayna Baszler vs. Bethe Correia: What We Learned from Women's Bantamweight Tilt

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2014

Bethe Correia, left, celebrates after defeating Shayna Baszler, rear, who is tended to by referee John McCarthy after a women's bantamweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 177 in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. Correia won in the second round. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Bethe Correia defeated Shayna Baszler by second-round TKO at UFC 177 on Saturday, and now she sets her sights on a potential title shot.

Baszler entered as a slight underdog, but she was the veteran with much more experience between the two. Correia garnered this fight after defeating Baszler's teammate Jessamyn Duke. Correia wanted to take out both of Ronda Rousey's UFC teammates and then get a title shot.

She has done just that, but the title shot is still up in the air.

What did we learn from this fight? Let's take a look. 


What We'll Remember About This Fight

Correia hurt Baszler and then went to work against the fence with fight-ending combinations.

The best part of the flurry was the body work. She mixed it up from body to head, and Baszler had no answer. She tried to cover up, but it was not going to work. She just allowed Correia to tee off on her. The referee had no choice but to stop the fight.

It was a big win for Correia.


What We Learned About Shayna Baszler

Baszler is an accomplished submission fighter, but her striking has never caught up. We learned that the veteran is past her prime and is no real threat to any of the top-tier women in the division.

Baszler has fought a who's who of women but has come up short against the elite. She has failed to take the next step. And with woeful striking defense, the beatings have taken a toll.

Baszler remains a better fighter than her teammate Duke, but she will never challenge the elite of this division.


What We Learned About Bethe Correia

We knew she was doing a fine job of marketing herself up the ranks at bantamweight, but now we know she can back it up in the cage.

Correia is not likely to dethrone Rousey, but she can at least be competitive against most of the division, including the top five.

She is a solid, well-rounded fighter. And she is still learning. That is the biggest plus to Correia in this division. She'll run up against several fighters who are more talented than she is, but she may be able to do enough to drag them to a decision.


What's Next for Baszler?

Without question she will head back to the drawing board, but the UFC needs to place her against the back half of the field.

Baszler can be a serviceable fighter. She can take bouts to keep the division moving forward. She just is not going to get it done against the upper echelon. Anyone coming off a loss who is in the back part of the division makes sense for Baszler.


What's Next for Correia?

I say give her Rousey. Why not?

No top contender is ready for Rousey, and the UFC has not yet finalized a deal with Gina Carano.

Correia no doubt has her attention, and it will be a way for the UFC to nab some pay-per-view buys off Rousey's star power. It will not be a competitive fight in the slightest, but it'll showcase Rousey's skills. And it will put an end to the Four Horsewomen storyline that Correia has been using.

Book the title fight.