UFC on ESPN 8: Claudia Gadelha Explains Callout of Carla Esparza, Who She Already Beat


As callouts go, Claudia Gadelha’s choice after defeating Angela Hill at UFC on ESPN 8 was a head-scratcher. The Brazilian strawweight opted to throw out the name Carla Esparza. A former champion in the UFC’s 115lb division, Esparza has been hot of late. The pair have also met once before, and it seems Gadelha is gunning for a rematch.

Thing is, she won their first encounter back in 2018. It’s rare to see a fighter call out an opponent they’ve already defeated. Yet here we are.

Speaking in a virtual post-fight press scrum with media outlets including Cageside Press, Gadelha (18-4) gave us her reasoning for the move.

“When I fought her, I was hurt, and I wasn’t in the right mindset. And she was talking a lot of sh*t after the fight. And I feel like we should do it again,” Gadelha explained. It’s a fight that Esparza is looking for as well — in the lead-up to her own fight on Wednesday, Esparza suggested she’d take on the winner of Gadelha-Hill.

“It’s going to be a different fight. I’ve been in there with her, and I know what’s she’s going to bring and I want to finish her,” she added.”

Brazil’s Gadelha expanded on the subject, saying “I feel like I can do so much better. Especially now that I have the right coach. Have the right people around me, and I’m not hurt. I blew out my knee 10 days before my fight with Carla, and she was talking about me greasing and like, come on it’s 2020, people don’t do this anymore. So I want to do it again.”

Esparza has already broken out the grease comments ahead of a potential rematch.

“Let’s run it back!!” Leave the grease at home this time,” she wrote on Twitter. In response, Gadelha exclaimed “it’s 2020, there’s no grease in here. Let’s do it again!”


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