FIGHTER PROFILE: CLAUDIA GADELHA

Claudia Gadelha after her victory against Randa Markos Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since The UFC introduced women’s MMA to the UFC Octagon in 2013 we’ve seen some amazing athletes take part of MMA’s biggest stage. One of the most exciting females to show their skills in the Octagon is Brazil’s Claudia Gadelha. Gadelha currently competes in the strawweight division where she is ranked number eight in the division.

 Gadelha was born on December 7, 1988 in Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Gadelha had a tough time as a teenager where she got involved with drugs and people who were involved in other nefarious activities. This led her parents to move to Natal where she could escape these bad influences and continue her education and finish high school.

After the family’s move to Natal this changed everything for Gadelha who was introduced to the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Unfortunately Gadelha’s parents did not support her pursuit of martial arts glory. But Gadelha stood strong and believed in her ability to compete in martial arts. Gadelha eventually went on to an MMA event, it was at this event whereGadelha found her inspiration for competing in MMA when she saw a female fight MMA. From this point on Gadelha was dead set on Fighting.

Gadelha made her pro MMA debut against Elaine Leite on June 5, 2008 for the Force Fighting Championship promotion in Aparecida, Brazil. Gadelha won by Submission (armbar) in 17 seconds, an impressive debut. Gadelha would win 11 straight wins, which would earn her spot on the UFC roster. On July 16, 2014 Gadelha made her UFC debut against Tina Lähdemäki where she’d win by unanimous decision.

The UFC announced in 2016 that Gadelha would be a coach on Season 23 of the Ultimate fighter. She showed her fighting IQ as a coach, almost sweeping the competition.  Gadelha faced off against fellow coach and Strawweight division champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk during the finale of the show for the UFC Strawweight Championship. Jędrzejczyk would emerge victorious.

Gadelha has not fought since her loss against Yan Xiaonan on November 7, 2020. It is not known when Gadelha will fight again. Gadelha is currently ranked eighth in the UFC Strawweight division.

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