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Shayna Baszler to turn babyface following UFC 176 bout against Bethe Correia?

Shayna Baszler fights Bethe Correia at UFC 176
Photo by Eric Holden

Shayna Baszler's upcoming fight against Brazilian superstar Bethe Correia features an exciting pro wrestling-style storyline, according to a June 9 report from FOX Sports. Correia, 30, defeated Baszler's friend and training partner, Jessamyn Duke, at UFC 172 in April, and then held up four fingers to indicate that she was interested in fighting the rest of The Four Horsewomen clan. Besides Duke and Baszler, the Four Horsewomen tag-team features UFC champ Ronda Rousey and 145-pound phenom Marina Shafir.

Baszler, 33, didn't take kindly to Correia's gesture because she feels it was done in a fake, under-handed way. Since Correia shook hands with Baszler following her win over Duke, it rubbed "The Queen of Spades" wrong that the Brazilian turned around and did the four fingers gesture just seconds after pretending that everything was all good between them. The fight between Correia and Baszler goes down on Aug. 2 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

Baszler is likely to walk out to cheers from the crowd, being that the USA vs. Brazil angle is being used to hype the fight. However, Baszler could solidify her babyface status by splitting from The Four Horsewomen immediately after notching the victory. Doing so could set up what would absolutely be one of the biggest female fights in UFC history, a bout between Baszler and Rousey.

The star judoka was Baszler's coach during TUF 18, but they both stated on the show that they would be open to fighting each other in the Octagon someday. The comments from Baszler and Rousey during TUF 18, about possibly fighting each other someday, were the first seeds of dissension within The Four Horsewomen stable. Baszler and Rousey got along just fine following the episode where they announced they would be open to fighting each other, but the show set the table for "The Queen of Spades" to make a face turn.

A few episodes later, Baszler was seen comforting Team Tate's Roxanne Modafferi, following a devastating loss. Since Baszler consoled a member of Miesha Tate's team after a defeat, the act could be viewed as the second hint of a potential babyface turn for the hard-hitting South Dakota slugger. However, the full babyface turn cannot be completed until Baszler publicly turns her back on Rousey.

And what better way to do so than inside the cage at UFC 176, during her post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. Since Rousey is likely to be cornering Baszler during the fight, they'll certainly have the opportunity to confront each other inside the Octagon or at the UFC 176 post-fight presser. How should she do it?

Baszler could take a page out of the WWE book and smash Rousey in the back with a steel chair. While that may seem like a heel tactic, Rousey is one of the most disliked athletes in the UFC and the Four Horsewomen are generally viewed as a villainous tag-team. If Baszler turns on her teammates by cracking Rousey in the back with a steel chair during the post-UFC 176 festivities, she could get over with MMA fans as one of the top new babyfaces in the sport.

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