The Four Horsemen were one of the most dominant factions in professional wrestling history. Led by the jet-flying, limousine-riding, styling and profiling Ric Flair, the group conquered all those that stood opposed to them. The Four Horsewomen of MMA—Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir—are nowhere near that dominant as a group, but that hasn’t stopped the ladies from leaving their names on the minds of MMA fans.

One particular person who has them on her mind is Brazilian bantamweight Bethe Correia. Correia recently fought and defeated one member of the Four Horsewomen, Duke. Following the fight, Correia made it a point to call out all members of the faction. She will get to continue her crusade against the group when she faces “The Queen of Spades” Shayna Baszler at UFC 176.

Considering the Four Horsewomen members are pretty big fans of pro-wrestling, let’s examine this “feud” under a WWE-like microscope. Obviously, UFC women’s champ Ronda Rousey is the group’s leader and the equivalent of the legendary Flair. She’s the headliner and would certainly command a headlining-worthy rivalry. One could compare her rivalry with Miesha Tate to that of the infamous rivalry between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels during the late ’90s. While the Hart-Michaels rivalry was headlining the card, other members of the Hart Foundation were involved in heated rivalries of their own. Who could forget Owen Hart’s battles with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin or the Team Canada vs. Team USA angle? Although everyone pays attention to the main-event guys, the fact is events need midcard rivalries to fill out a lineup. These rivalries can be very hit or miss, but Correia may be on to something with her callout of the group.

The Brazilian is far from headlining status. She is undefeated, but she also hasn’t displayed enough to warrant a position among the top contenders to Rousey’s throne. Instead of floundering around on prelim portions of the card competing in bouts that nobody cares about, Correia has created interest where there previously was none. But can the undefeated eight-fight veteran be the one to topple the MMA faction?

Correia already has one notch on her belt with her defeat of Duke, and she already has another date with a member of the Four Horsewomen. She faces Baszler, who may be the most one-dimensional member of the group. Training under the guidance of Josh Barnett, Baszler became one of the top submission artists in women’s MMA, but she hasn’t developed a striking game to complement her grappling skills. Baszler is also coming off an unofficial loss to The Ultimate Fighter winner Julianna Pena and an official loss to Alexis Davis at Invicta FC 4.

If Correia can get past Baszler, one would assume the UFC would have no issues with stoking the flames of this rivalry by signing Rousey’s good friend Marina Shafir to a contract. Shafir hasn’t been in the MMA game for very long—she turned pro in April and has just one pro outing under her belt—but given that she’s part of a team that ranks among the hottest topics of discussion in MMA, it’s an easy sell for the UFC hype machine.

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that Correia manages to pull off two wins and does accomplish her goal of toppling three members of the Four Horsewomen—does that mean the Brazilian will be next in line to face Rousey? The short answer will more than likely be yes, if Rousey is still the champion. But that doesn’t mean the Brazilian would’ve earned the title shot.

Just take a look at how the UFC jumped at the opportunity to put together a potential title fight between Rousey and Gina Carano. It serves as evidence that selling tickets comes first. With the high-profile status of the Four Horsewomen and Correia’s taunting of the crew, the UFC brass is seeing dollar signs.

Rousey is no stranger to letting her emotions get the best of her, and she will not simply ignore her friends getting beat on a national stage. Of Rousey’s many traits that were on display during her coaching stint on The Ultimate Fighter, the most obvious was her sense of loyalty. Don’t put it past Rousey to request Correia even if it would mean facing a challenger who hasn’t defeated a top contender prior to challenging for the title.

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.