Relatively speaking, she sort of kept her word.
Rousey (12-0) locked up her sixth UFC title defense in 34 seconds on Saturday by knocking Correia (9-1) out cold with a right hand in the first round. The championship fight headlined UFC 190 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
The fight went long by Rousey's recent standards. Her three previous title defenses were over in a combined 96 seconds. Rousey holds the UFC record for quickest finish in a title fight, at 14 seconds. All but one of her professional bouts have ended in the first round.
"I planned to, instead of forcing into a clinch, overwhelm her with striking first so she would want to clinch -- and that's exactly what happened," Rousey said. "She went for the clinch, and it was up to me to go for the takedown or keep [striking]."
A former U.S. Olympian in judo, Rousey rushed out of her corner on the opening bell and attacked Correia with right hands. She missed on her first three, but the aggression appeared to put Correia on the defensive.
Eventually, Rousey scored the first shot -- a right uppercut after corralling Correia with her left arm. As Correia tried to break out of the hold, Rousey hit an outside trip that sent Correia flying backward. She flipped up off the mat and bounced back to her feet, but Rousey stayed with her and landed a hard left hook to the body and head. Correia reached forward to slow down the fight, only to have Rousey shove her backward and land a right cross that dropped Correia limp.
"I thought it started out well," Correia said. "I think she felt my strikes. She tried to grab me. I defended takedowns. Those things happen. Her hands landed. That's her merit. I fell but I thought I was doing the right game, which was to attack, counterattack, defend takedowns and hit her. In that moment, I slipped. I got up. She connected a good punch. That's it. That's fighting."
Immediately after the result, Rousey mentioned professional wrestling icon Roddy Piper, who passed away Friday after a heart attack. Rousey, who fights out of Glendale Fighting Club in Southern California, has spoken at length about Piper's influence on her. Her fight nickname, "Rowdy," was adopted from Piper.
"We lost a close friend," Rousey said. "'Rowdy' Roddy Piper gave me permission to use his name. I hope he had a good time watching this today."
Fightmetric credited Correia with 10 total strikes, but none had any effect on Rousey, who was determined to come forward. Everything about the fight was dictated by Rousey, including the location where it was fought.
Rousey had requested to fight Correia in Brazil. It was not an obvious choice for the UFC. The promotion prefers to hold major pay-per-view events in the U.S. The UFC 190 card was unusual in that it included seven fights instead of five, due to an agreement between the UFC and its Brazilian broadcast partners to include specific fights from a recent reality show.
The extra bouts made for a late event, but Rousey still managed to produce a high level of energy. It was the third knockout of her career and third in her past four fights. Correia marked the third fighter whom Rousey has handed her first loss.
Miesha Tate (17-5), the only Rousey opponent to make it out of the first round, is expected to receive the next crack at Rousey. Tate, who trains out of Las Vegas, is on a four-fight win streak, including a gritty decision against Jessica Eye last month. Tate and Rousey have met twice before, once for the Strikeforce title in March 2012. Rousey finished both fights via armbar.
Anticipating her third shot at Rousey, Tate reacted to Rousey's devastating victory and posted a prediction on her Twitter account.
— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) August 2, 2015
UFC president Dana White said the trilogy fight between Rousey and Tate could co-headline a UFC pay-per-view event along with a featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor. The promotion is currently targeting a Dec. 5 date at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for that card.
"I would absolutely consider that," White said.
Another potential opponent for Rousey continues to be Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris "Cyborg" Justino, whose current contract with the all-female fight promotion would allow her to appear in the UFC against Rousey. Rousey and UFC officials have expressed interest in that fight, but Justino must prove she can make 135 pounds first. She has never fought at that weight.
"The Cyborg thing is complicated because everybody is ready to go," White said. "I'm ready for Cyborg, Ronda is ready for Cyborg -- but she has to make the weight. That fight is ready to roll whenever Cyborg is ready."
Justino is expected to attempt a cut to 140 pounds for her next fight in Invicta, sometime in the fall.