It has been six years since former UFC title challenger, Bethe ‘Pitbull’ Correia picked up a victory in her native country of Brazil. However, she looks to change that come this Saturday night in Rio de Janeiro.
At UFC 237, Correia will make her return to action when she takes on Mexico’s Irene Aldana. For the 14-fight veteran in Correia, this will be her first fight since she headlined UFC Singapore opposite Holly Holm in June 2017. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, she suffered defeat that night via third-round knockout.
The 35-year old has been scheduled to compete on two occasions following the loss, both times happening to be for encounters with her upcoming opponent in Aldana. The most recent time being for UFC 227 in August 2018.
Correia would end up being forced out of the bout by the California State Athletic Commission as they wouldn’t clear her to compete after her emergency eye surgery that took place in the prior October. Although that’s not exactly what the case was according to to the Campina Grande native.
“The way things happened, it was really frustrating for me,” Correia told MMA Fighting. “Fights getting canceled is something normal in this sport, it happens, but the medical situation we got into, the misinformation, people thinking I was hiding information from the UFC about my eye situation, that got me very frustrated. I was cutting weight, a thousand times more emotional… But it’s over now. I got more mature after all that. Everything that happened made me stronger and better prepared.”
Not expecting to be out for as long as she was, the ‘Pitbull’ is more than ready to get back to work in a UFC bantamweight division that has become short of contenders.
”The division needs me,” Correia stated. “Coming back to fight, coming back to the wins. Things were way cooler when I was more active. I think the division needs Bethe Correia coming back and winning this fight. I will always be a strong name fight for the belt. People are begging for me to come back.
”I’m really glad that I’m fighting Irene. If they are booking this fight for the third time, that’s because it has to happen. I’ve watched her last couple of fights, that were supposed to be against me, and she’s a true brawler. She has that typical Mexican spirit. I think it’s going to be a great fight.”
Correia vs Aldana is set to air as the second fight of the UFC 237 ESPN prelims right after BJ Penn takes on Clay Guida.
Learn how to watch UFC 237 here
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/8/2019