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Jessamyn Duke has problem to solve in Bethe Correia

Mixed martial arts: Glendale Fighting Club bantamweight takes on undefeated foe at UFC 172 in Baltimore.

April 24, 2014|By Grant Gordon,
  • Jessamyn Duke, right, spins and kicks a bag as Shayna Baszler punches a bag as they train at the Glendale Fight Club on Friday, November 1, 2013.
Jessamyn Duke, right, spins and kicks a bag as Shayna Baszler… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

With a victory in her Ultimate Fighting Championship debut in the rear view and her feet firmly and comfortably situated in Southern California as part of arguably the most popular and regarded stable of female mixed martial arts fighters, Jessamyn "The Gun" Duke has reason to be excited about her future.

Her immediate future is UFC 172 on Saturday in Baltimore and an undefeated three-round bantamweight showdown with Bethe Correia. The bout will air on Fox Sports 1 as part of the preliminary card beginning at 5 p.m. PST.

Duke is excited about her choice of walk-out song — though she's keeping it a secret until she makes her walk to the octagon. She's excited to have plenty of family support in the stands and the fun she'll have after the fight seeing them.

As for the task at hand that is Correia, Duke sees handing her Brazilian counterpart her first loss as a rather simple quandary.


"It is nothing but a problem to be solved in front of you," said the Glendale Fighting Club's Duke, who made her UFC debut against friend Peggy Morgan and won a unanimous decision in December. "It's just a problem to be solved and I find her easier to solve [than Morgan]."

Duke (3-0, one no-contest), ranked No. 14 in the division, is always careful with her words as not to come off as boastful, but she's plenty confident heading into her fight with No. 12 Correia (7-0).

"I know how she fights and what she does. I'm confident," Duke said. "It's not an easy fight, but it's a simple fight."

At first glance at the combatants' professional records, one would surmise that Correia, 30, has an experience edge over the 27-year-old Duke.

However, Duke went 5-2 as an amateur, beginning her fighting days in October of 2010. Her professional career began in July of 2012 and she's built a 3-0 pro record with one no-contest. After fighting thrice under the all-female Invicta Fighting Championships banner, Duke made her UFC debut following her tenure as a member of Team Rousey on the 18th season of "The Ultimate Fighter." She defeated Morgan, her Team Rousey teammate, via unanimous decision in a fight that was relatively one-sided before Duke lost position in the third round after an ill-fated headlock. Though it was her UFC debut, Duke credits her late lapse not to octagon jitters, but just inexperience.

"That wasn't nerves, that's being green as a fighter, that's being inexperienced," Duke said. "It actually took days after I fought Peggy for it to sink in that I fought in the UFC."

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