EXCLUSIVE | Chris Luttrell says move to Las Vegas has been amazing for Claudia Gadelha

Claudia Gadelha

The UFC Performance Institute is not only a state-of-the-art facility with scientific advances available for fighters, sometimes it’s their new home. Such is the case for strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha who moved from Luttrell/Yee MMA to train full time at the Performance Institute.

Looking for a place where everything she could possibly need from training to recovery and get the most attention from her coach Chris Luttrell, Gadelha decided to pack up and leave Albuquerque, New Mexico and move to Las Vegas so she could train there full time.

In an interview with BJPenn.com, Luttrell opened up about Gadelha’s decision to move to Las Vegas and use the Performance Instituate for her training and much more. Being open about his preference to train his fighters on a smaller scale rather than at a big gym like their previous time spent in New Mexico, Luttrell says Gadelha’s move to Performance Institute has been great for everyone involved.

“She moved out to las vegas and i know more fighters are moving out there. the facilities are incredible.they have everything a fighter needs except for coaches. they want to stay neutral. the fighters go there and everything’s free.”

While the fighters have everything they could possibly need besides coaches at the Performance Institute., Gadelha recognized she needed Luttrell with her in Vegas so she took it upon herself to bring him out.

“she told me she couldn’t pass up the chance to be in vegas but also said she needed me there. so when she is in camp she’ll fly me out every week and when she’s not in camp she’ll call me and we’ll go over things to work on.”

“she also has other gyms she can work out at so i talk to those coaches about what she needs to work on as well. when she’s in camp i fly in every week for 8 weeks. the traveling gets tough, but it’s a lot of fun.”

Not only has Gadelha’s move to Vegas helped her training, but it helped recover from her most recent injury as well. During her fight against Carla Esparza, Gadelha blew her knee out halfway through the first round but would fight through it to get the decision victory. Luttrell said that the Performance Institute played a huge part in her recovery.

Luttrell said he didn’t mention the injury to Gadelha during the fight because he didn’t want anything to change with her during the fight. While there was an adjustment to the gameplan, Luttrell said he learned that Claudia Gadelha was a true warrior pushing through against Esparza.

“She’s just a true warrior, it’s just how tough she is. the injury effected her movement and balance but she just fought through it. she doesn’t make excuses, she’s very mature and methodical about fights. it was really nice to see and she just earned even more of respect.”

The focus for Gadelha and Luttrell is all on Nina Ansaroff heading into their matchup at UFC 231 this weekend, but the goal still remains to get back to title contention.

“Not looking past nina, she’s very very tough. I think she’s one of the bigger threats in the division. She’s big and I think her striking is amazing. Let’s say we do get past her, I do believe we should be in the title hunt.”

As they prepared for Ansaroff, Luttrell said that going back to Gadelha’s two fights against former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has certainly helped them prepare for this fight. Making the move to Vegas has also allowed more individual time with coaches for Gadelha and Luttrell says that has played a major factor in her growth as a fighter recently.

“she came from a large camp and she didn’t get much attention. she didn’t get a lot of specific prep time. now in vegas with more specific training, we’re adding a lot of tools to her game.”

Headed into her fight against Nina Ansaroff, Luttrell says he expects to see improvement from Gadelha, improvement that will help keep her at the top of the strawweight division as she works back to a potential title opportunity.

Claudia Gadelha made the move to Las Vegas in hopes of giving herself the best possible situation to excel and work back up to a title opportunity, her coach Chris Luttrell says it’s been an incredible move for both coach and fighter because they have everything they need now.

When the Performance Institute was built, it was not only to help fighters in their recovery and body training, but it was also for cases like Gadelha’s, where being able to use the facility at all times has allowed for more individual time with her coach, and now the duo are looking to show what they’ve worked on when they face Nina Ansaroff at UFC 231.