The Brazilian bantamweight is set to face the former UFC champion in the main event of the promotion’s upcoming trip to Singapore on June 17, and told MMA Fighting that losing four in a row could spell the end of Holm’s career.
"I think she was a bit overrated and that’s too risky for an athlete’s career because they put you in fights you shouldn't take,” Correia said. "Holly comes from a tough fight, a loss, and she doesn’t take time off to recover, to analyze, to breathe, to travel and see things she has to work on.
"She takes another fight and ends up risking her career. I think that, after I win, it will depend on how they will take care of her career. If they don’t take good care of it, she might retire early. It depends on her head and how people around her will take care of her.”
Holm earned a shot at the UFC belt after back-to-back decision wins over Raquel Pennington and Marion Reneau in the Octagon, and shocked the world with a one-sided victory over Ronda Rousey. Holm was en route to a decision win over Miesha Tate at UFC 196, but ended up losing via submission in the fifth round.
Holm came back to the Octagon less than five months later, losing a five-round decision to Valentina Shevchenko. Seven months later, the Jackson-Wink talent agreed to move up to 145 pounds and face Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural featherweight strap, but suffered another decision defeat.
Correia, who usually builds up a rivalry with her opponents leading up to her UFC fights, says she has nothing against Holm, but believes “The Preacher’s Daughter" is overrated.
"I have nothing to say about her as a person,” Correia said. "As an athlete, I think she has a great potential, but I think she's a bit overrated. Against Ronda, she fought strategically and had a great performance, but all of her other UFC fights, in my opinion, were just good. Nothing spectacular. She’s overrated. Unlike her, I’m underrated. There are a lot of holes to beat Holly. She’s overrated. She’s a great athlete, but not as great as many people considered her to be."
Focused on beating a top-five opponent for the first time inside the Octagon, Correia is confident she can become the first to knock Holm out in MMA.
“(Boxing) is her main weapon, but it’s mine, too,” Correia said. "I always believe in my hands and I’m not afraid to stand against anyone, not even her. I have heavy hands. I have more punching power, I’m strong. If I decide to trade with Holly, it will be a tough fight. But I’m a MMA fighter and I can fight anywhere, too. A striking contest between us will be really interesting. I want to beat Holly Holm because people talk about me defeating a top-five (opponent), and I think this is the moment to show my striking qualities against a top ranked opponent.
"I believe I can get a knockout. I see many holes in her striking, so I’m confident. I have nothing to lose in this fight, so I’m going straight forward. There are styles that match up well, and I believe I will grow more with Holly’s style. I feel more comfortable. That’s why I believe I can beat her standing."
Happy with the opportunity to face a former champion in the UFC, Correia admits that Holm is not the fight she expected to get after fighting to a draw against Reneau in March.
“Pitbull” originally aimed for a rematch with Pennington, looking to avenge a UFC on FOX 19 decision loss. Yet, Correia believes it was a brilliant move by the promotion to book this bantamweight fight as the main event in Singapore.
"She’s coming off losses, but she’s a former champion,” Correia said. "Everyone wants to fight her. (Cris) ‘Cyborg' and Amanda Nunes asked to fight her in the past, so I feel good being the one selected to fight her. I know the athlete I am, and I know the UFC wanted a big fight in Asia.
"That’s why so many girls hate me, because fans want to see me fight,” she continued. “I draw good numbers. Win, lose or draw, I draw good ratings. Numbers don’t lie. People want to see me fight. It’s the Bethe effect. That’s why other girls are so jealous of me. I know I’m the type of fighter the UFC likes to become champion. Holly has charisma, too, but I have the profile of a champion the UFC likes."