Former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) strawweight champion Jessica Aguilar (19-5) made her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut at UFC 190 in Brazil. Her opponent was Claudia Gadelha (13-1) in a bout that would likely determine the number one contender to Joanna Jedrzejczyk‘s 115-pound title.
There were two questions heading into this contest. The first one was, can “JAG” rise to the occasion in the biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) organization in the world? The second was, can “Claudinha” have an impressive showing and earn another bout with the UFC strawweight champion?
Aguilar immediately threw out some jabs, but Gadelha snuck in a knee from the clinch. Gadelha landed a left hook counter followed by a combination. Aguilar was able to get in a leg kick before blocking some bombs from the Brazilian. Gadelha kept throwing knees and worked some jabs of her own. The Brazilian looked to be stalking her opponent and pressuring her with heavy shots.
With under two minutes left in the opening frame, “JAG” still did not attempt a takedown. Aguilar connected with some leg kicks, but they didn’t look to do much damage. Gadelha slammed Aguilar to the mat and gained control of her opponent’s back. Aguilar defended a submission attempt until the horn sounded.
Round two began with Gadelha backing off Aguilar with a left hook. “Claudinha” tagged “JAG” with an uppercut and pushed her to the fence. Blood poured out of Aguilar’s nose as Gadelha brought her down. Aguilar popped back up and gained control with her opponent’s back against the cage.
“JAG” threw knees to the legs of Gadelha. They separated and met back at the center of the Octagon. A stiff jab connected for the Brazilian. Aguilar landed a right hand followed by a leg kick. Gadelha countered Aguilar with a straight right. Aguilar got cut under her right eye. The round ended with Gadelha finishing a takedown.
A left hook followed by a right hand landed for “Claudinha” at the start of the final round. “JAG” started landing more leg kicks, forcing Gadelha to attempt more checks. Aguilar pushed for a takedown, but the fence kept the Brazilian standing. They exchanged right hands on the break. Aguilar continued to attack the lead leg of Gadelha. “JAG” connected with an uppercut. Gadelha looked much slower as a result of the leg kicks. Gadelha secured a takedown and the final horn sounded.
All three judges saw Gadelha winning every round of the bout.
Final Result: Claudia Gadelha def. Jessica Aguilar via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)