The first fight announced for UFC 225 is a good one out of the women’s strawweight division.
UFC officials confirmed on Wednesday that former champion Carla Esparza will face one-time title challenger Claudia Gadelha on June 9th. The night’s main card airs live on pay-per-view, with prelims expected to be split between FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Esparza (13-4) has won two straight fights, first besting Maryna Moroz by unanimous decision last June, then getting a unanimous verdict in her favor vs. Cynthia Calvillo at UFC 219. She was the UFC’s first ever strawweight champion, defeating current champion Rose Namajunas by submission. Her reign was short-lived, as Joanna Jedrzejczyk stopped her at UFC 185 in 2015.
Gadelha (15-3) is coming off a tough unanimous decision loss vs. Jessica Andrade, who dominated her for much of their September clash at UFC Fight Night: Saitama. The Brazilian had previously only lost to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, with the rematch doubling as her lone title shot. Her most recent victory came at UFC 212 last June, when she choked out Karolina Kowalkiewicz in just over three minutes.
UFC 225 is set to take place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.