After falling short against Joanna Jędrzejczyk last July, Claudia Gadelha bounced back with a win streak of two dominant victories over Cortney Casey and former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Despite having lost two decisions to the division’s champion, Gadelha feels that victory over Andrade will see her right back into title contention.
“I think that, getting past Jessica, I won’t have anything else to prove to anyone,” Gadelha told MMAjunkie. “I had two close fights with Joanna. If I don’t deserve that title shot, I don’t think anyone else does.”
“All the respect, the hierarchy – that’s very important to me, I wanted to fight in Japan one day. And since (the UFC doesn’t) go there every day – or even every year – I wanted to be on this card, so I asked for it.”
Gadelha also revealed to MMA Junkie that Andrade wasn’t the first opponent she necessarily had in mind. “I’m coming off a win, so I’d rather be fighting someone who was also coming off a win,” she said.
“It’s a soap opera through this point, but I think Carla Esparza and I should fight. I think this fight should happen. I also even thought about Felice (Herrig) who’s coming off a few wins. I did want to fight someone coming off a win. But then nobody said yes, only Jessica (Andrade),” Gadelha concluded.
Gadelha has a well-documented history with Jedrzejczyk. The two have engaged in one of WMMA’s nastiest rivalries. Regarding Joanna’s upcoming title defense against Rose Namajunas in November– Gadelha says, “I think Rose doesn’t stand a chance against Joanna.”
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Claudia Gadelha vs Jessica Andrade will co-headline UFC Japan on September 22nd.
Do you see Claudia Gadelha earning another title shot?