When Ronda Rousey speaks, the UFC listens. And when it comes to Rousey publicly calling out opponents, that's an action that doesn't happen lightly.
So the fact that the UFC women's bantamweight champion identified Brazilian grinder Bethe Correia as her next potential victim could mean the stars have aligned in that direction.
On Jay Mohr Sports on Thursday (h/t MMA Fighting), Rousey said she was eyeing a bout with Correia, who has beaten two of Rousey's Four Horsewomen teammates and, as recently as Monday, has been vocally calling for a matchup with the champ.
"There is this young, up-and-coming Brazilian chick with an undefeated record that beat two of my friends and has been trying to rub it in my face," Rousey told Mohr. "Pretty much trying to get in an argument with me, because when you're in an argument with me, you're suddenly more important. I guess this chick figured that out. Messing with mama bear is a very bad idea. She might be next on my radar."
If this is indeed a strategy by Correia to earn a title shot, she has executed it to a T.
It all started when the 31-year-old Correia (9-0) defeated Horsewoman and Rousey pal Jessamyn Duke in an unexciting split decision last April at UFC 172. She then looked into the camera and made the sign of the Four Horsewomen, folding down one finger to symbolize the just-vanquished opponent.
Correia next faced Shayna Baszler, whom she also defeated.
After Rousey's 14-second victory over Cat Zingano at UFC 184, Correia said Rousey was a "selfish" champion, per Elias Cepeda of FoxSports.com.
"I think she's really selfish," Correia said. "She just thinks about herself, about making movies, dressing well, showing up. I'm not gonna be like this, I'm gonna be a real champ. I'm gonna do something for the people. I'm gonna be the people's champ."
Then, just a few days later, Rousey called out Correia for a fight in Correia's native Brazil. Coincidence? Not likely, as Fox Sports' Damon Martin pointed out:
@marc_raimondi She had a meeting with the UFC today so it all fits— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) March 6, 2015