After three canceled fights in a row, Claudia Gadelha returns to action for her first out in 2020.
Gadelha takes on Angela Hill in the night’s co-main event.
The former title challenger has been a staple of the UFC strawweight division since it’s inception in 2014. A number of online sports betting sites have pegged Claudia Gadelha as a favorite to beat Angela Hill with one of the bigger gaps in odds on the main card at UFC on ESPN 8.
Gadelha last fought in September, defeating Randa Markos via unanimous decision. After that, she was booked in three different fights that each fell through for various reasons.
In response to media questions during a virtual media scrum on Thursday, Gadelha detailed, “I had a fight lined up against Marina Rodriguez after that nightmare that happened in January with Alexa Grasso that she didn’t make weight. I was frustrated because I spent like three months in New Jersey, through the winter, training so much for that fight and she didn’t make weight.
“Marina Rodriguez stepped in but she asked for a little bit of time. I was expecting to fight in February or March but she asked for April or May. The fight was booked to May 2. Then, with the whole coronavirus going on, they canceled the fight. They couldn’t bring Marina to America.”
Finally, the UFC found a willing and able opponent in “Overkill” Hill. “They talked to Angela Hill and she said she needed a couple of more weeks to get ready because she wasn’t really training. I was like ,’At this point, I’ll fight anybody. If she steps in, lets go, lets do this”
“I’m a different breed. I’ve been fighting for so long. I have a lot of experience. If she comes forward, she’ll find a nightmare.”
When asked about her thoughts regarding the recent UFC 248 championship fight between champ Weili Zhang and former champ Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Claudia called the fight “inspiring.”
“It was a great fight. Beautiful performance by both fighters. They showed a lot of heart, a lot of technique. One of the best fights I’ve ever seen in my life. That’s inspiring. I’m pretty sure everyone in the division is watching this, going back to the division hungry, trying to get better to step in there in the same way. “
Check out Gadelha’s virtual media scrum below, uploaded to YouTube by MMA Junkie.