RIO DE JANEIRO – Ronda Rousey defended her bantamweight title by knocking out Bethe Correia only 34 seconds into the first round at UFC 190 on Saturday night.
Rousey charged at Correia at the start and finished the fight by throwing a rapid sequence of punches at the Brazilian's head, landing a combination of right and left strikes that sent her opponent face-first into the ground and disappointed the home crowd that packed the HSBC Arena.
It was yet another impressive performance by Rousey, who improved to 12-0 in her incredible MMA career. The UFC's biggest star arrived in Rio as the overwhelming favorite against Correia (9-1) after winning her previous three title defenses in a combined 96 seconds. She needed only 14 seconds to beat Cat Zingano at UFC 184 earlier this year.
"It was kind of how I expected it," Rousey said. "I planned to instead of trying to force a clinch, overwhelm her (by) striking first so that she would want to clinch first, and that's exactly what happened."
Rousey, who has been UFC's most dominant champion and is redefining the sport, has won 11 of her fights in the first round while being taken to the third round once. Her last five wins had come through her signature armbar, but this time it was her striking force that made the difference.
"I guess she can't really say anything about my hands anymore," Rousey said.
Rousey said she was fighting in memory of Hall of Fame wrestler Roddy Piper, whose death was confirmed Friday. Piper was one of Rousey's greatest idols and inspired her to take the "Rowdy" nickname.
"We've lost a really close friend, 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper, who gave me his permission to use his name as a fighter, so I hope he and my dad had a good time watching this today," Rousey said.
Rousey's next opponent will likely be fellow American Miesha Tate.
In the second-to-last fight on the main card on Saturday, Mauricio Rua topped Rogerio Nogueira with a unanimous decision in a fight between veteran Brazilian light heavyweight fighters. It was a rematch of fight between the two in 2005, when Rua won a contest that lasted 38 minutes.
"I knew he was going to be well prepared, but I won, I got the victory," Rua said.
In other fights Saturday, top-ranked strawweight fighter Claudia Gadelha of Brazil defeated Mexican-born Jessica Aguilar with a unanimous decision after three rounds; heavyweight Antonio Silva of Brazil beat Soa Palelei of Australia with a second-round knockout; Stefan Struve of the Netherlands beat Brazil's Minotauro Nogueira with a unanimous decision.