UFC stars Bethe Correia and Claudia Gadelha don’t care for some of the comments men tend to leave on their social networks. As they both spoke to Combate, some of the stuff they read is quite sickening, and they are tired of having to deal with such harassment every time they post a new picture.
Former bantamweight title challenger Correia says it has gotten to a point that she blocks them every time she reads something of the sort, and that most of the time, it comes from foreign users.
“That’s the first time someone has asked me about this subject,” Correia said. “I go through this everyday, it’s very complicated. In Brazil we have these pick up lines from construction workers, but it’s everyday on the internet, especially from foreign people. They are crazier, I don’t even know what to call them. They harass me on Snapchat and Instagram from seven to ten videos a day. Guys send me videos of them masturbating with pictures of me. Sometimes they get to the point of masturbating themselves while watching me fight and I’m just working, I’m doing my job, practicing a sport. They get turned on and send that individually. I think there’s a lot of men who fantasize with female MMA fighters. They want to have sex with a female fighter. I block them due to their inconvenience, but there’s always a new perv.
“Once, close to my house, a man on a motorcycle showed me his genitals and drove away. I’ve been through complicated situations. Online, though, they are braver. I hope it doesn’t go beyond that. I know how to defend myself and I would have to use it. Maybe break an arm or choke someone out. I hear some indecent proposals. Guys who want to hold me against my will at parties. Some men think we’re giving them freedom to do those things when we are just being nice. Ignoring is one way to deal with it, you can’t fight them all. It’s a matter of awareness. I embrace the ‘it’s not your fault campaign.’ Walking around in short clothes or in a bikini doesn’t give anyone the liberty to act like that.”
The next strawweight title challenger, Claudia Gadelha, says that nobody has ever approached her in person, but confesses the harassment online is constant.
“Personally, I never had a guy approaching me and doing something,” Gadelha said. “But on social media it happens all the time. We get messages not only from fans, but also from pervs all the time. It’s annoying, I get messages like this ‘I fantasize about you hitting me.’ It’s very weird. Some men send pictures of their junk. Some guys really bother me. I try to ignore them. When I see it’s not important, I try not to read it, but it happens all the time. After I became a fighter, nothing ever happened to me. I hope it doesn’t because I know I would be really upset and I could punch them in the face.”
About the author