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Bethe Correia training at AKA, still seeking fight with Miesha Tate

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bethe Correia is looking for evolution.

The Brazilian bantamweight came up short against UFC champion Ronda Rousey at Rio de Janeiro’s UFC 190 on Aug. 1, losing via knockout in just 34 seconds, and decided to change camps before her return to the Octagon.

Correia, who trained at Pitbull Brothers for all of her previous UFC fights, has joined American Kickboxing Academy in California.

"Everything is so different here," Correia told after her first week of training in the United States. "It’s a different reality. And I don’t know how to speak English, so I’m basically communicating with mimics, and it works [laughs]."

Correia moved to AKA primarily to work on her wrestling, but also improve her kickboxing and jiu-jitsu skills.

"I always wanted to have this experience outside of Brazil," she said. "Every high-level athlete has to do it at least once. I wanted to train in a different gym for a long time. I got an invitation from Leandro Vieira to train here, and I’m loving it. It’s one of the best gyms in the world, especially in the area I want to evolve.

"An athlete has to really get out of his comfort zone. If you don’t do that, go out and train with different people, find new ways of training, different visions, you’ll never evolve. That’s what I needed. Training in Brazil was great, but I think every athlete has to get out of their comfort zone to grow. I feel I’m going to evolve a lot here, I will be a different fighter when I return."

Still waiting for the UFC to book her next bout, "Pitbull" wants to improve first.

"More than coming back to fighting, which I want a lot, my focus is to fix my mistakes and evolve," she said. "I want to be more violent and confident. I want to have a better ground game and heavier hands. If I have to travel all around the world to achieve that, I will, but I’m loving to be here at AKA. I have so much to learn here."

After suffering the first loss of her professional career and dropping to 3-1 under the UFC banner, the Brazilian wants to face someone from the top 10 of the 135-pound division. If she could choose, former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate would be the one.

"I want to fight a girl well ranked so I can show my evolution, but the girl I want to fight the most is Miesha Tate," Correia said. "I don’t know if she’s going to fight Amanda (Nunes), so I’m waiting. I have no doubt the UFC has something good for me."

Despite reports that Tate could take on Nunes in December, Correia believes a fight between "Pitbull" and "Cupcake" would sell better.

"A fight between Miesha and I would be way better," she said. "Fans would be more interested in watching it than Miesha against Amanda. No disrespect to Amanda, I love her. But I want to knock Miesha out, and I know she wants to knock me out too. She laughed at me when I lost to Ronda, and I laughed at her too. And when I say I will fight for the title again before she does, I truly believe it. The UFC has no interest in her anymore."

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