Bethe Correia popped into the top ten of the UFC women's bantamweight division with her unanimous decision win over Jessamyn Duke at UFC 172. The win, Correia's second in the UFC was impressive, but what really garnered attention for the Brazilian fighter was something she did after the final horn sounded.
After having her name read as the victor, Correia embraced Duke, shook hands with Shayna Baszler and Edmond Tarverdyan, who worked Duke's corner (but not UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey - who also worked the corner), and then raised four fingers to the camera. Correia then lowered one finger leaving three fingers upright.
For those that have been following women's MMA the significance of the gesture was immediate, Correia was serving notice to the "Four Horsewomen" - Rousey, Duke, Baszler and (non-UFC fighter) Marina Shafir that she was gunning for them.
The effort was not lost on the UFC matchmakers - Correia's next fight will be against Baszler (15-8) at UFC 176.
Baszler recently appeared on MMA Fight Corner Radio and spoke about Correia's actions after her victory over Duke, "Everyone that's a fan of me knows I'm a fan of pro wrestling and what not. I could even say if done differently, I could appreciate such a gesture because of the pro wrestling fan in me," said Baszler. "The thing is, is that hit me wrong. She shook my hand and then turned around and did it."
Baszler went on to say that, in her mind, the handshake signaled that the fight was in the past; so making that gesture after the handshake did not sit well with Baszler. Adding to the emotion of the moment was the fact that Baszler had just saw her friend and teammate lose, "Of course I was caught up in the moment with Jess losing, so it probably just fanned the flame a little. But yeah, I'm going to take my four fingers and see how she likes seeing them I guess."
The fight will be Baszler's first in the UFC, and she said of Correia's actions after the Duke contest, "It's just extra, extra motivation on top of it being my debut. There's kind of this bad taste in my mouth now."
The fight between Correia and Baszler will take place on August 2 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.