Claudia Gadelha has her eyes set on getting back in the UFC’s 115-pound title picture, but she may have to wait a while.
The Brazilian challenged for the strap back in July of 2016 when she took on longtime rival and opposing The Ultimate Fighter Season 23 (TUF 23) coach, Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Gadelha was bested by her Polish counterpart via unanimous decision.
She’d bounce back with back-to-back wins over Cortney Casey and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, but Gadelha’s streak was then stopped dead in its tracks by fellow Brazilian Jessica Andrade via unanimous decision in September. At UFC 225 on June 9 in Chicago, Gadelha got back in the win column with a split decision victory over former UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza.
Shortly after her victory, Gadelha revealed to MMA Fighting that two weeks before her clash with Esparza she had suffered an injury to her knee and thigh. Thanks to the care she received from medical specialists at the UFC’s Performance Institute she decided not to pull out of the fight, but she’ll now undergo surgery to repair the damage:
Knee surgery will be next week. Thank you for the real and loved ones!!
— Claudia Gadelha (@ClaudiaGadelha_) June 14, 2018
“I badly injured my knee, everyone at the UFC (Performance) Institute knows that because I was treated by the institute’s physiotherapist,” Gadelha said. “(The physiotherapist) was the only reason I didn’t pull out of the fight. She said ‘I’ll take care of you.’
”I kept visiting the physiotherapist during fight week to be able to fight. I felt the knee in the first round, could barely stand, and still beat Carla in her game, wrestling, so I think she’s just mad she couldn’t outwrestle me.”