Current UFC women's bantamweight title challenger Bethe Correia just crossed the line.
In a sport like MMA, a lot—damn near anything—is fair game when it comes to promoting a fight. Say you want to smash your opponent's head in. Make fun of them. Slam their fighting skills.
But don't say what Correia did.
MMA Mania's Jesse Holland has the transcription:
I want to knock her out, show to everyone that she is a lie. She wants to stand up with me, let's see. I want to humiliate her and show the word she has no MMA. She is focused on movies, books. I am much stronger, I come from a developing country, where people are struggling to survive, not to starve. It is very different 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 (laughs).
Correia seems to be referring to some struggles Rousey outlined in her recently released book, My Fight, Your Fight.
Really, Correia bringing up Rousey's past personal demons isn't the end of the world. Recalling some less-than-desirable choices Rousey made on her own is fair game in the world of fight promotion, in my opinion.
It's that last sentence that is unacceptable.
Rousey's father committed suicide when she was just eight years old, making the suicide comment completely off-limits. There is a slight chance that Correia didn't know this about Rousey's past, but even if the UFC champ didn't have a deep, personal and tragic connection to suicide, this is an area one should avoid at all costs.
Rousey responded on Twitter:
Suicide—and the conditions that lead to it—are simply out of bounds. You don't joke about something that claims almost 1 million lives per year, oftentimes devastating and shattering families in the process.
Defeating Rousey will say more than enough about Correia's merits as a professional fighter without the need for a distasteful comment.
She'll make headlines and be remembered for pulling off one of the most shocking upsets in MMA history should she emerge victorious at UFC 190. After this latest sound bite, however, don't be surprised to see Rousey come out harder and more focused than ever.
A Correia victory was already pretty unlikely in the eyes of most fans and critics. Now, the Brazilian challenger may have made her situation even worse.