This Saturday in Toronto, Canada, former strawweight title challenger Claudia Gadelha will face surging American Top Team product Nina Ansaroff in a top contenders bout.
So, what does each fighter need to do to get her hand raised?
Claudia gadelha (16-3)
- Force the takedowns: Claudia is one of the best grapplers in her division. She should pressure her Nina early and keep her backing up. Nina is a talented kickboxer who, at range especially, can do some damage. She’ll limit her attack by pressuring Nina against the fence, instigating the clinch, and looking for her explosive single or double legs.
- Establish top control: The BJJ specialist should look to establish ground control early should the fight go to the ground. She is physically strong and can land some bout-altering ground and pound shots if given the chance. Using top control to land any type of ground and pound from any position (full mount, side mount, crucifix) will help wear down her opponent.
- Cut off the Octagon: Many fighters get caught up in the moment and tend to follow or chase their opponents. Instead, Gadelha should mirror Ansaroff’s movements and cut off the Octagon. Making the Octagon feel smaller can force the grappling exchanges and limit Ansaroff’s mobility.
nina “the strina” ansaroff (9-5)
- Keep it moving: “The Strina” does not want to get caught with her back against the fence. She should circle well and look for angles to attack and evade Gadelha’s early aggression. Gadelha has a history of tiring out as the fight goes on and she can exploit this by consistently moving.
- Attack the base: In her last bout, Ansaroff attacked Randa Markos with a beautiful low calf kick that completely disrupted her movement. She should utilize this tool on Gadelha, who tends to plod forward more flat-footedly. Limiting Gadelha’s forward pressure with this attack will open more opportunities for Ansaroff to let her combinations fly.
- Stay at range: Though a well-rounded fighter, Nina shines at range. She has strong combinations and great kicking technique. She should avoid grappling or clinch exchanges and instead look to piece Claudia up from the outside with jabs. As Claudia tires, she can incorporate more kicks.
Who will you be rooting for?