This Friday, September 22, UFC strawweight Claudia Gadelha (15-2) is scheduled to face fellow Brazilian Jessica Andrade (in Japan. Gadelha is a pioneer in women’s MMA having taken part in the inaugural UFC women’s strawweight match in 2014. Since her first UFC appearance, Gadelha has dominated everyone in her path… except current strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Gadelha MMA Fight

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The two fought for the first time in Dec. 2014, with Jedrzejczyk winning a three-round split decision. The fight was razor close between them and the contrast of styles (Gadelha is a three-time world champion in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Jedrzejczyk is a five-time world champion in Muay Thai) made for a chess mass of total mixed martial arts; a rematch was inevitable. In July 2016, Gadelha had her opportunity.

The first two rounds were highlighted by dominant Gadelha grappling, who even scored a knockdown in the first round. However, by the middle of the third round, the tide started to change. Jedrzejczyk began opening up with combinations and as Gadelha faded, the champ grew stronger. In one of the best fights of 2016, Gadelha lost via unanimous decision.

So, now what? Can Gadelha even earn an opportunity to challenge for the title again? History is not on her side as long as Jedrzejczyk is champion.

In elite level MMA (UFC, Pride, Strikeforce, Dream, Pancrase), there have only been 23 trilogy fights. The UFC has hosted 10* of these trilogies if you include Nate Diaz/ Gray Maynard 1 in The Ultimate Fighter. Moreover, only one trilogy in the history of top level MMA was fulfilled with one fighter winning the first two fights: Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock (Nov. 2002-Oct. 2006).

The UFC was vastly different in the early 2000’s and in no one fight is it more evident than the third fight between Ortiz and Shamrock. The third fight took place only three months after their second fight, which ended in a first round TKO. Can you imagine the UFC booking a trilogy fight, where one fighter had lost the first two by TKO and the second one just three months before the closing chapter? The last fight should have borrowed a joke from Spaceballs: “Ortiz/ Shamrock 3, the search for more money.”

Gadelha joins UFC flyweight Joseph Benavidez in obscurity as both are top contenders in their weight classes shackled by two defeats to the current champions. Since Benavidez’s most recent loss to Demetrious Johnson, he has rattled off six consecutive wins. However, he is still overlooked in regards to being the true number one contender despite being ranked as such.

Gadelha will need to borrow a page from Benavidez’s book because dominance is the only hope at earning another title shot against Jedrzejczyk. Unfortunately, even that may not be enough in 2017.

 

Claudia gadelha mma fight

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gadelha mma fight

gadelha mma fight