Strawweight Claudia Gadelha finds herself in a match-up she “really likes” at UFC Vegas 13 this Saturday.
The Brazilian, a former title challenger, is facing China’s Yan Xiaonan. While her opponent has been a bit under the radar, the Chinese fighter is undefeated in the UFC, with five wins. With Gadelha entering off two wins over her own, a victory Saturday could put either fighter in title contention.
“I think I’m a pioneer in the sport,” said Gadelha, who pointed out during the UFC Vegas 13 media day that she was in the first ever strawweight fight in the UFC. “The last couple years of my life have had a big transition, switching camps, moving from Brazil to America. It was very challenging for me. I had to face a lot of adversity.”
But Gadleha is always back to the gym, training and improving, she pointed out. “I feel like after beating Yan, it gets me back to a title fight,” she stated.
There are other fights on the horizon, even if the title shot doesn’t come immediately. One she ruled out, however, was a rematch with Angela Hill. The pair met earlier this year. Gadelha won a close, somewhat controversial decision. Hill has been pursuing a rematch ever since.
“No, not really. I already beat her,” Gadelha answered when asked about running it back. “Angela talks too much. I don’t like the disrespect for fighters. I respect people that do what I do for a living, because I know how hard it is. I feel like Angela talks too much, and disrespects everybody. She’s already talking sh*t about Tecia Torres, her next opponent. So I’m not worried about her. She should be training hard and then trying to get back on a win streak.”
Other rematches are a different story. “I would like to fight for the title, but I have some fights I want to do,” Gadelha later added. That’s due to some “fighter honor,” as she put it. “I want to fight Joanna [Jedrzejczyk] again, and I want to fight Carla [Esparza] again. So after Saturday, if they give me one of those girls, I’ll fight them.”
Gadelha is also willing to be a back-up fighter for the proposed Weili Zhang vs. Rose Namajunas fight. “Of course. I work for the UFC. Whatever they tell me to do, I’m there.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 13 virtual media day press scrum with Claudia Gadelha above. The card takes place Saturday, November 7 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.