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Bethe Correia doesn’t think taunting led to loss against Holly Holm

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Correia vs Holm David McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports

Almost two years after Holly Holm knocked Ronda Rousey’s teeth loose in her epic title win in Australia, the former UFC bantamweight champion almost caused the same damage to Bethe Correia.

Holm finished Correia with a head kick in the main event of UFC Fight Night 111 in Singapore on June 17, and doctors suspected that the Brazilian's teeth were unstable due to the vicious kick.

Correia, who was issued a 180-day suspension pending a dental clearance told MMA Fighting that she avoided any serious damage.

“I left (the Octagon) and my mouth was bleeding a little, and I had the feeling of having my teeth loose,” Correia said. “They asked me to have my dentist evaluating it, but it’s all good. I won’t stay away from fighting for six months [laughs]. Haters will watch Bethe back in the Octagon and winning again. Sometimes a defeat makes me hungrier, more anxious to come back and silence the haters.

"I also believe UFC female fighters hate me the most [laughs]. They hate me, they want to fight me. They hate me because win, lose or draw, I promote more and draw more audience than all of them combined."

According to Correia, a dentist already checked her mouth and will provide a report to send the UFC, so she expects to be back in action later this year.

Correia is healthy, but still unhappy with the defeat. In the second-biggest fight of her career, the Brazilian believes she was doing fine against the former champion, but made a mistake right after taunting Holm.

“I was doing what I wanted to do, finding the right distance against Holly, who moves well in the Octagon, and getting loose in order to go for the submission or the knockout,” Correia said. “I think I was getting loose, getting confident, and then the kick landed. Maybe because I got distracted, but it happened.

“I don’t think it was because of the taunting,” she continued. “I’ve done that before. I think I didn’t pay attention to the right distance to avoid her attacks. The kick happened after I stopped taunted, my hands were high. People think I lost because of (the taunting), but it wasn’t. I think that if I hadn’t stopped paying attention to the distance, maybe it wouldn’t have landed. I stopped in a distance that was unsafe for me and benefited her."

Immediately after Correia went down, she raised her arm in a way that some people interpreted as she was giving up, but she says it was not the case.

“I think I was trying to get back up,” she said with a laugh. “I wasn’t asking to stop (the fight). I even think the referee stopped it a little early, but I was dizzy. As a fighter, I wish I had tried, but I was unconscious. The referee was trying to protect me. I’d rather go until death, I never want to give up."

Back in the losing column, Correia wants to make someone pay for her defeat.

“I'm hungry to come back and beat someone up,” she said. “I wanted this victory so bad. I just want to win now. I want challenges, I don’t want easy fights. I want big names. I want a top 5 to erase this loss. For an example, I’d like a rematch with Raquel Pennington. When I lose, I lose, but I don’t think I lost that one."

A one-time title contender in the UFC bantamweight division after going 3-0 in her first appearances inside the Octagon, Correia now finds herself with only one win over the past five fights (1-3-1).

Don't expect her to change the way she acts inside and outside the cage, though.

“I think that the way I am, my strength and willingness to not care about people’s opinions, makes me the bad girl, the villain in the UFC, and I think that actually motivates me,” Correia said. “I never wanted to be the good girl because good girls are fake people trying to be who they are not. Angels belong in the sky, not on Earth. I prefer to be real, and I think that’s what makes me stronger.

“I was upset after this fight, of course. I hate losing. But at the same time, I wanted to bounce back. I was getting weird messages on social media, I guess people wanted me to disappear like Ronda? I have a fighter’s spirit, I want to bounce back right away. I face adversity as a learning experience. I’ve learned a lot with my losses.

“Losing is painful, you know, but you have to know how to lose and come back stronger. If people expected to see me act like Ronda and disappear, you won’t see that with Bethe Correia. I go down to get back up stronger. I was upset, but I booked my flight three days after the fight, so I had to enjoy the opportunity. Singapore is a beautiful place, and I wouldn’t lock myself inside the hotel room and cry."

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