It’s no secret that Carla Esparza believes she should have gotten the judges’ nod at UFC 225 versus Claudia Gadelha– in fact, “Cookie Monster” thinks things would have been ‘even more dominant’ on her side had Gadelha not “greased”.
On Monday, the former strawweight champion spoke to Ariel Hewlani on the final edition of The MMA Hour. Reflecting on her razor-thin split-decision loss to the Brazilian, Esparza claims, “She cheated in the fight; she greased before the fight.”
“I was considering saying something to the referee in between [rounds]… but I didn’t really know how to go about it.” Esparza and her team rewatched the bout to further enforce their claims Gadelha cheating, “It’s pretty shady to me. I re-watched the fight and my hands were slipping right off. Even when I was trying to grab armbars during the fight my arms kept slipping down.”
“Fighting a wrestler I can see why someone would do something like that,” she added. “I’ve been working on a pretty solid armbar and I felt like I had it set up a couple of times in the fight higher on the arm, but every time my arm just slipped down.”
Though there are several ways to “grease”, in general, greasing is the act of a fighter applying vaseline or lotion strategically to their body to make more slippery during a fight.
Despite the claims, Esparza still feels she won the fight.
“I felt that I won anyway. I felt that things could’ve even been more dominant on my side [had she not greased’]. Claudia, you’re a cheater, straight up. It’s not cool. It is what it is, but it’s done with.”
A fired-up Esparza says she isn’t necessarily surprised–“She’s a cheater, but it doesn’t really surprise me. In my opinion, she’s been a pretty dirty fighter throughout, so it is what it is.”