It’s been a while since Bethe Correia found herself challenging for bantamweight gold in the UFC. The Rousey era is firmly behind us, and Correia’s assault on her four horsewomen (well two of them, anyway) a thing of the past. In more recent times, the Brazilian has struggled, earning just two wins since her 2015 meeting with Rousey.
However, come UFC Fight Island 3 on Saturday, Correia was entering off a win over Sijara Eubanks, and was lined up with ex-Invicta FC standout Pannie Kianzad. With a chance to win two in a row for the first time in years.
Both women were not afraid to throw early and often in this bout. Kianzad was largely leading the dance, but Correia was landing a fair share of counters as well. As the accuracy picked up for Kianzad, Correia began to look for some takedowns with no success. Kianzad mixed in some clinch work as well, but the real stamp on the round came with ten seconds left. When the clapper went off, Correia mistakenly thought it was the end of the round horn, causing her to walk away and allowing Kianzad to land more than a couple shots.
— UFC (@ufc) July 25, 2020
Kianzad picked up where she left off in the second with even more clinch work. However, a mistimed knee and some pressure from Correia sent Kianzad to her back early. After spending a little more than a minute on top with some light ground and pound, Correia gave Kianzad a bit too much room and she worked back to her feet. Once again, Kianzad got the better of the exchanges on the feet with more hard straights landing, but the round was much closer in that respect than the first.
The third round started with a clear plan from Correia to move forward more often. She managed to get Kianzad into a couple of exchanges, one of which Correia caught Kianzad on the right eye. Although that led to some serious swelling, it didn’t stop Kianzad from rallying with some combinations of her own including one that put Correia on wobbly legs. That made Correia a bit more hesitant with her strikes and encouraged her to look for some takedowns. She only managed one of those and it came with just seconds left in the round, which the where the fight ended.
Official Result: Pannie Kianzad def. Bethe Correia by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)