Friday, 02 May 2014 12:04
Submitted by John LaRocca
At UFC 172, one of the most interesting storylines was sparked during the prelims on Fox Sports 1 when undefeated UFC's women's bantamweight fighter Bethe "Pitbull" Corriea defeated Jessamyn Duke by unanimous decision. After the fight, Corriea held up four fingers and put down one to signify her defeat over Rousey's stable mate in The Four Horsewomen. The Four Horsewoman consist of Rousey, Duke, fellow UFC womens bantamweight Shayna Baszler, and Marina Shafir who recently made her pro MMA debut.
Seeing Corriea's display of disrespect, Shayna Baszler called out Corriea. Just like that, a perfect storyline dropped right into the lap of the UFC and UFC women's bantamweight booker Sean Shelby. This storyline was very successful in the pro wrestling world, especially back in the mid-80's when The Four Horsemen consisting of Ric Fair, Tully Blancherd, Ole and Arn Anderson was the top heel stable in pro wrestling. The Four Horsemen was created to protect the NWA World Heavyweight Champion "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair and his reign as champion. Title challengers like Dusty Rhodes, Magnum T.A., Nikita Koloff and others had to run through the gauntlet of Horsemen to get to Flair.
Like Ric Flair was the World Champion and leader of the Horsemen, Ronda Rousey is the same in her stable. Shayna Baszler steps into the "enforcer" role of the group or what pro wrestling fans would call the "Arn Anderson" role. Arn Anderson was one of the best technicians inside the ring and also one of pro wrestling's best talkers on the mic, but he will always be known as Flair's number one guy for protection. With Baszler calling out Corriea, she solidified her role as the Arn Anderson in The Four Horsewomen.
This storyline is something the UFC cannot simply ignore. The UFC needs to get their marketing team around this storyline as soon as possible. The entire promotion of Bethe Corriea versus Shayna Baszler should focus on the Corriea quest to go through The Four Horsewomen and finally take out Ronda Rousey and win the title. I personally would book Corriea vs Baszler as the opening fight of the UFC 175 PPV card on July 5th. The same card that Ronda Rousey defends her title against Alexis Davis in the main event.
If Corriea wins, I would have her call out Ronda Rousey. Can you imagine how much interest a future title fight with Rousey would be if Corriea who speaks little english looks directly into the camera and says "Ronda, you are next". After she says this, she holds four fingers down. How great would that be? For Baszler, if she wins, her promo is simple. She can say "If any other women bantamweight fighters, and this includes Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg want a shot at Ronda, you have to go through me first". After she holds up four fingers the symbol of The Four Horsewomen. Four Horsewomen merchandise sales would go through the roof.
The UFC would then be in a win-win situation. If Bethe Corriea wins, you have a great title fight with a great storyline behind it. If Shanya Baszler wins, now you have a perfect first opponent for Cris Cyborg to debut against when she signs. UFC fans will be conditioned then to know if Cyborg wants a shot at the title, she has to go through Bazler first.
This is a storyline is a can't miss and it would be successful for the UFC Women's Bantamweight division and more importantly for Women's MMA.