The Gracie family always had one thorn in their side despite being the first family of MMA. Kazushi Sakuraba became “The Gracie Killer” — an arch nemesis that made every Gracie versus Sakuraba fight all the more interesting.
The Gracie family simply could not find a way to dispatch the Japanese star. Sakuraba beat four members of the family — Royler, Ryan, Renzo and the most famous of them all, Royce.
Now MMA seems to have transitioned to another fighter taking out members of another “family” as Bethe Correia gets set to take on Ronda Rousey in August at UFC 190.
That “family” is the “Four Horsewomen” made up of training partners, Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke. Granted they aren’t a family in the sense of the word like the Gracies, but they’re about as close as you can get.
Correia has already notched wins over two of the “Horsewomen,” both dominant performances. Duke and Baszler have been cannon fodder as victories for Correia and now the fight with Rousey is an easily hyped storyline stripped right from pro wrestling itself.
The question now becomes can Correia complete the run and defeat the Royce Gracie of the “Horsewomen” in Rousey? Sakuraba was able to beat arguably the best of the Gracies, but can Correia match him in doing so?
Rousey has been unstoppable in her career. There hasn’t been a hole that anybody has exploited, a knockout blow that dropped the champion and she has only gone beyond the first round once in 11 fights. Heck, her last three fights have ended in less than two minutes combined.
Correia has what every fighter has when entering the cage, a shot. It’s extremely slim, but it is still a shot, nonetheless. Watching Rousey fight, one thing is clear, she is constantly improving. That is what makes her as feared as she is.
Over the course of her career, her striking has grown. Not only that, but we now know she can improvise an armbar from anywhere, just ask Cat Zingano. I don’t want to push Rousey as this invincible warrior that can’t possibly be beaten. Everybody has an off day, eventually. But, Rousey has been a machine so far and her off day seems to be better than a good day for the rest of the women’s bantamweight division.
Even Sakuraba lost to the Gracies eventually — twice as a matter of fact. He notched some big wins over some of the best the family had to offer, but he eventually lost. But Rousey is something else.
Call me skeptical, call me crazy, but there does not seem to be a woman on the planet who can dethrone Rousey. Correia is not the answer. Shes has a slim chance to do something nobody else has done. I don’t want to say it will take a lucky punch because saying lucky, at least in my eyes, takes all the training out the window and removes any credit from Correia. The way Rousey will lose is by making a rookie mistake.
We can make the comparison between Sakuraba and Correia all we want, but Sakuraba actually followed through on being the “Gracie Killer” when it was all said and done. Sakuraba took out the most feared man in that family. Correia probably won’t have such luck against Rousey. All the victories over Rousey’s stablemates does is add more fuel to the fire and motivate Rousey to put Correia away early. Watching the last three Rousey fights, that seems to be easier done than said.