MMA: Holly Holm can be beaten in UFC Fight Night Singapore, insists Bethe Correia

Bantamweight Bethe Correia of Brazil (left) attacking Marion Reneau of the United States during their drawn bout at UFC Fight Night 106 in March this year. She acknowledges that her next opponent, Holly Holm, is a "good fighter" but has weaknesses th
Bantamweight Bethe Correia of Brazil (left) attacking Marion Reneau of the United States during their drawn bout at UFC Fight Night 106 in March this year. She acknowledges that her next opponent, Holly Holm, is a "good fighter" but has weaknesses that she will exploit at next month's UFC Fight Night Singapore.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/ UFC

Brazilian ready to expose American's flaws while aiming to earn a title shot

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Bethe Correia might be preparing to face former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion Holly Holm but the Brazilian does not consider herself the underdog.

Instead, Correia believes that she has the right tools in her arsenal to hand the American her fourth straight defeat while moving herself into the frame for a shot at the women's bantamweight title.

The duo are the headline act for next month's UFC Fight Night Singapore. With nine confirmed fights so far, this will be UFC's first live event here since 2014.

Speaking to the Singapore media yesterday in a conference call from Brazil, Correia said: "I see a lot of holes in her game, she has a lot of flaws and she can be punched.

"Holm is a good fighter, but MMA is different. I will exploit her flaws and find the right distance to strike. My strategy is to move forward and fight at short distance."

The 33-year-old boasts a 10-2 win-loss record and is confident an 11th win on June 17 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium will help secure a title fight against compatriot Amanda Nunes.

RELYING ON AGGRESSION

I will exploit her flaws and find the right distance to strike. My strategy is to move forward and fight at short distance.

BETHE CORREIA, on her strategy to defeat former UFC champion Holly Holm.

Holm has lost her last three bouts. She conceded the bantamweight title to Miesha Tate in March last year and suffered another loss four months later to Valentina Shevchenko. In February, Germaine de Randamie earned a win over Holm by unanimous decision .

Correia, who turned professional in 2012, said: "I'm sure that if I beat her (Holm), I'll get a title shot. I don't see any other fighters in my division putting on a better show."

She came close to winning the championship in 2015, when she fought American star Ronda Rousey but lost at UFC 190.

Correia also dismissed any speculation of a comeback by Rousey, whose return was halted following a comprehensive defeat by Nunes in the first round of their fight last December.

Correia said: "I don't even think Ronda trains any more.

"I think she will retire. She doesn't have the mindset of a fighter. She doesn't know how to deal with losses and overcome it, and she gets upset about it."

On Wednesday, the UFC released news about a new women's flyweight division (57kg) for its reality television programme The Ultimate Fighter, but the plans were withdrawn for further discussion on Thursday.

The UFC has three divisions for female fighters: strawweight (52.2kg), bantamweight (61.2kg) and featherweight (65.8kg).

Correia, who was unaware of UFC's U-turn during the interview, said: "The UFC has been doing a great job promoting female fighters. I think it (the flyweight division) will be great and successful.

"I'm very happy that UFC treats me like every other employer should treat any women."

Early-bird ticket sales for UFC Fight Night Singapore are available from sportshub.com.sg.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 06, 2017, with the headline 'Holm can be beaten: Correia'. Print Edition | Subscribe