Bethe Correia responds to Miesha Tate’s challenge: ‘I never back away from a fight’

Bethe Correia (left) welcomes Miesha Tate's challenge, but would prefer to fight for the title.

Jeff Bottari/Josh Hedges/Zuffa L/Getty Images

Miesha Tate wants to fight Bethe Correia? Correia says bring it on.

Tate told (h/t The UG) this week that she’s hoping to get Correia in her next bout, because she’s looking for someone who will stand and trade with her.

"She’s doing really well and she’s not afraid to engage in a fight," Tate said. "She’s undefeated and she has an exciting style of fighting. My last two opponents that I beat just wanted to grab a hold of me and take me to the ground. They did not want to throw punches with me at all. It’s not as fun for me. I like people that want to stand up and fight. I feel like Correia is well-rounded and we could win fight of the night."

Correia might be on the same page with Tate on that last point. But Tate would not be the Brazilian’s first choice to fight next. The only thing Correia truly wants is a title shot against UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, something she has said repeatedly.

"Everyone knows I want to be the champion," Correia told FOX Sports through an interpreter. "And fight the champion is something I’ve looked for, something I worked to get. I have no idea why Tate decided to appear in this history. But everyone knows me and knows how I am, I never back away from a fight, I am Bethe Correia. I never run from a challenge. Whoever challenges me make sure to use a good mouthpiece because I’ll answer to it in the Octagon with punches to the mouth."

Tate (15-5) is known for her wrestling and grappling, but has worked hard on her striking over the last few years. She fought grapplers in her last two bouts, defeating Liz Carmouche and Rin Nakai. "Cupcake" has already lost to Rousey twice, so she has some serious work to do before getting another title shot. Correia, 31, has a rivalry with Rousey already, so maybe Tate, 28, believes a win over her would get her close to earning another chance against the champion.

Tate is ranked No. 2 among UFC women’s bantamweight contenders and Correia is No. 8.

"It’s hard to win fight of the night when one of the two people in the ring just wants to hold on to you or lay on you," Tate said. "I want to fight someone that isn’t afraid to stand up with me. Let’s give the fans what they want to see and throw punches until someone goes down."

That sounds like something the undefeated Correia (9-0) could get behind. She’s coming off a TKO win over Rousey’s training partner, Shayna Baszler, at UFC 177 in August. Before that, Correia beat another friend of Rousey, Jessamyn Duke, by unanimous decision. The way she figures it, Rousey should be next. But she isn’t going to turn down Tate, either. Rousey is likely to get No. 1 Cat Zingano next anyway, in January.

"I’ll be the next UFC champion," Correia said. "I’ll fight anyone they want me to and I’ll beat all of them. If it’s up to me, the check for Performance of the Night bonus will have my name on it in my next fight."