Just two days after it was announced that she would be fighting Ronda Rousey for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship at UFC 190, Bethe Correia was involved in a street fight in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Correia was with her boyfriend, Edelson Silva, who also happens to be one of Anderson Silva’s boxing coaches, and her sister Suzana Correia, at a hotel in Rio de Janeiro. The trio asked for a taxi to go out to dinner, but decided instead to eat at a restaurant across the street when the cab arrived.
The cab driver, Cleonardo de Freitas Alves, wanted to charge them anyway, which is what started everything.
Alves reportedly threatened to grab a gun out of his glove box, which led to a fist-fight between he and Silva. Video footage has leaked online, which you can watch above, that shows some of the action caught on a security camera.
“He wanted us to pay him five reais (approximately two dollars), and I gave him seven,” Correia explained to MMAFighting.com. “But he kept asking Edelson for more money, saying we wasted his time. They started to argue and Edelson told him to f–k off, and that’s when the taxi driver left the car and started the fight with Edelson. They started to fight, to punch each other. My sister and I didn’t do anything.”
Correia continued, “(Alves) said he would grab a gun at the glove compartment. When he said that, my sister went after him, but I pulled her away. I could have used all my martial art knowledge to stop him, but I didn’t want to fight. I was calm, but he was threatening us.”
“The taxi driver didn’t even recognize me. When the police showed up, they wanted to take Edelson with him, but the hotel’s receptionist said ‘ah, that fighter over was also involved’, so they called my room and asked for me to go with them. The taxi driver didn’t recognize me, but now he wants to use this to become famous. Edelson was just protecting us. This is bulls–t. What would you do if a man says he’s grabbing a gun to threaten your family? Edelson was protecting us.”
A couple days later, Correia started receiving death threats via social media. One of the messages included a picture of a gun with the caption, “Coward, son of a b—h. S–tty monkey. Punch me.”
“I received a lot of threats, but I deleted everything because I didn’t want to pay attention to all this. But I saved this with the gun because he is disgusting,” Correia said. “He wants to attack me because I’m at the best moment of my career. Unfortunately, that’s the price we pay for the fame. I don’t know what else he wants from me. I’m 30-year-old and I never fought in the street.”
“How am I going to trust taxi drivers now?” she asks. “They are so tight. I go to Rio all the time. The biggest moment of my career is going to be in Rio. I try not to pay attention to all this. I’m training hard and focused on winning this title.”
One of the threatening social media messages can be seen below.
Bethe Correia challenges Ronda Rousey for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship in the main event of UFC 190, which takes place on August 1, 2015 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.