In just 34 seconds early yesterday, Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey showed yet again why UFC president Dana White opened the doors of the Ultimate Fighting Championship to women. At HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, the 135-pound American women's bantamweight champ faced off against undefeated Brazilian Bethe Correia, who seemed confident she'd steal Rousey's title. In the lead-up to the fight, Correia had roused bad blood by suggesting Rousey, an Olympic bronze medalist in judo, might commit suicide if she lost; Rousey lost her father to suicide at age 8, reports CNN. Rousey, 28, entered the octagon with a glare, delivered a knee to Correia's chest, hit her with a left hook, then a right, then another left before the referee called a stop to the fight, reports the Guardian.
The battle—which Rousey dedicated to "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, per the Wall Street Journal—actually lasted longer than Rousey's two previous fights combined. Now 12-0, Rousey is viewed by many as the best female MMA fighter in the world. She'll likely next face Miesha Tate, whom she's already beaten twice. "I think Miesha is one of my greatest challenges because she already has an idea what she's getting in there with," says Rousey, per MMAJunkie.com. Others believe Invicta FC featherweight champion, 145-pound Cris "Cyborg" Justino, should be next up. At 14-1, she's recorded two first-round knockouts this year, reports ESPN. "I'm prepared to deal with anything, that's why I'm the champion," Rousey says. "I just feel like I'm one step closer to retiring undefeated and having a legacy. That's my goal at this point."