Claudia Gadelha Retires From UFC After Up-And-Down Tenure

Claudia Gadelha

Former UFC strawweight title challenger Claudia Gadelha has retired from the UFC and MMA after a long career with the promotion.

Gadelha notified the UFC on Friday that she is done competing and will in fact retire, as first reported by MMAFighting.

Gadelha’s retirement comes just weeks after a fellow UFC title challenger, featherweight Felicia Spencer, also announced her intentions to retire after a long career.

Gadelha most recently competed against Yan Xiaonan, losing by a unanimous decision in arguably a one-sided affair. She had won her previous two fights in 2019 and 2020 against Angela Hill and Randa Markos.

Fans may know Gadelha the most from her heated rivalry with former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and the season that they coached against one another on The Ultimate Fighter. Before Jedrzejczyk had earned the title, Gadelha lost to her via split decision before getting a rematch in 2016, losing via unanimous decision.

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Claudia Gadelha Has Retired From The UFC

Gadelha made her UFC debut back in 2014 after an undefeated run in promotions such as Invicta and Shooto Brazil. She was once regarded as one of the top female Brazilian MMA prospects in recent memory.

Gadelha won her UFC debut against Tina Lahdemaki before losing a title eliminator to Jedrzejczyk. Despite never earning the belt, Gadelha was a mainstay in the UFC’s strawweight division and helped bring star power to the 115-pound group of fighters.

After news of her retirement circulated on social media, Gadelha thanked her fans in a series of Instagram story posts and replies.

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Gadelha also earned wins over former champion Carla Esparza and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Esparza is widely expected to face Rose Namajunas next for the strawweight title.

It’s unclear if Gadelha is planning on a smaller role in combat sports, possibly in boxing or Jiu-Jitsu. But for now, she appears done with MMA as a whole.

What are your thoughts on Claudia Gadelha’s retirement?