A smarter, more mature version of Claudia Gadelha would like the chance to revisit some past outings, should the UFC allows her to do so. Paired up against Yan Xiaonan for a fight at UFC Fight Night 182, the former strawweight title challenger wishes to meet both Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Carla Esparza again afterwards, just to prove how much of a better fighter she is now.
In an interview with Ag Fight, Claudia emphasized how much she was able to evolve in the past few years, which is why she wishes to face those past opponents again. Additionally, Gadelha also pointed out how becoming a calmer fighter in the Octagon made her a more matured athlete.
“I’ve evolved so much. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into my technique, my career. I’ve always been very professional, but in the past years I’ve been taking a calmer approach, making smarter decisions. I think my coaches have been helping me a lot to make smarter decisions. I think I’ve evolved a lot technically.”
In her first outing against Jedrzejczyk, Gadelha dropped a close split decision to ther former champion, back in December 2014. In July 2016, ‘Claudinha’ had the chance to go against Joanna again, but dropped a unanimous decision that time around. Now, Claudia believes her new mindset finally put her in the right place to score a win over her rival.
“I think my experience against Joanna would be very different today. In the first fight, I believe I won all three rounds. It was a controversial fight, but let’s forget about it. What’s done is done. In the second fight, I believe I won the first two rounds. The third one was really close and she won the last two. So my maturity and my intelligence would now make me fight more intelligently against Joanna. I would be able to do everything at the right moment, instead of going all out.”
Even though Gadelha did defeat Esparza via split decision when they met in July 2018, Claudia knows it was a controversial result. She explains that at the time she was injured and should have taken the fight, but wishes to get a rematch in order to clear the air and show she still is the superior fighter and put and end to the doubt.
“I was injured when I fought Esparza. That was a big mistake in my career. I had hurt my knee 10 days before the fight, so I couldn’t perform the way I should and wanted to. I think I can have a much better fight against Esparza in a future fight.”
Currently on a two-fight winning streak, Claudia Gadelha (18-4) defeated both Randa Markos and Angela Hill in her last two outings. Before that, the 31-year-old dropped a unanimous decision to Nina Ansaroff, back in December 2018.
Now, Gadelha is expected to take on Yan at UFC Fight Night 182, on November 7, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card is expected to be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Thiago Santos.