UFC 231’s featured prelim bout saw a big upset victory in the strawweight division for Nina Ansaroff.
Fox Sports 1’s featured fight was a very important one for the strawweight division. With the winner of the Claudia Gadelha and Nina Ansaroff fight possibly being set up for the next title shot after Jessica Andrade. Ansaroff has made an impressive comeback in the division, being on the verge of being cut in 2016, she has won three fights in a row and put herself in a position to be a top strawweight. On the opposite side, Claudia is a staple of the 115-pound weight class, and has won three of four bouts going into UFC 231.
Round one was a tale of two halves. The first half of the round was all Claudia, taking down Ansaroff and landing some nice ground and pound. It looked like Gadelha had the round in the bag for the first three minutes, but somehow, Nina got back to her feet, and took full advantage of the time left in the round. Ansaroff landed some really nice kicks, making people wonder whose round it was at the end.
Round two saw a very patient approach by Claudia Gadelha. Having spent most of the round getting hit with a good jab, she was not deterred and waited until she saw a good opportunity for a takedown. She got it near the end of the round and once she got Nina down, she landed some good ground and pound and possibly stole the stanza.
Round three was a striking masterclass by Nina Ansaroff. Claudia moved forward with pressure but Nina was more than fine on the backfoot, landing some nice straight rights as well as some nice kicks as she showed she was the fresher fighter in the third. She outlanded Claudia significantly and showed that she belonged at the top of the division.
Nina Ansaroff def. Claudia Gadelha by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)