UFC women’s strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha explained why a trilogy fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk would go differently this time around.
Gadelha and Jedrzejczyk have fought twice previously. In December 2014, the two met in a title eliminator while both were relatively new to the UFC. Jedrzejczyk won a narrow split decision and would go on to win the title from Carla Esparza in her next fight. The UFC then paired up Gadelha and Jedrzejczyk to be the coaches on TUF 23, and once again Jedrzeczkyk got her hand raised when she won a unanimous decision at the finale.
Since the last time the two rivals met, Jedrzejczyk lost her belt to Rose Namajunas, while Gadelha has been up-and-down They are still both top-10 strawweights and chasing another title shot at 115lbs, so a trilogy fight remains a very real possibility at some point. If that’s the direction the UFC wants to go in, then Gadelha welcomes it.
Speaking to the media ahead of her fight against Yan Xiaonan at UFC on ESPN+ 40, Gadelha explained why a third fight against Jedrzejczyk would go differently for her.
“With Joanna, I think my experience would be different today. My first fight with her, I believe I won the three rounds, it was a very controversial fight but never mind, it passed. The second fight, I believe I won two rounds well, the third was very even and she won me the last two rounds. So I think that my experience nowadays, my maturity, would make me fight with more intelligence against Joanna and know how to use everything at the right time, without giving everything right away,” Gadelha said (via AG Fight).
While it’s clear that if Gadelha could choose her next opponent it would be Jedrzejczyk, Gadelha also mentioned in the interview that she is also interested in running it back with another rival in the aforementioned Esparza. Although Gadelha won a decision over Esparza at UFC 238, many fans felt that she should have lost the fight on the cards.
“With Carla Esparza, I struggled with injuries, which was a big mistake in my career. I hurt my knee ten days before the fight, so I couldn’t perform the way I should and what I wanted. I believe that I can make a much better game against Esparza in another fight,” Gadelha said.
Do you think Claudia Gadelha has what it takes to beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk?