Brazilian strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha is still stinging after a controversial decision loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk late last year. Now that Joanna is champion, Gadelha wants a rematch, with gold on the line.
In December, Gadelha lost a close decision to Jedrzejczyk that she believes she deserved to win. One fight later, her Polish opponent won a shockingly dominant fight against then strawweight champion Carla Esparza to become the new 115-pound division world champion.
Gadelha had to pull out of a fight against Aisling Daly because of injury but is still focused on Jedrzejczyk. The Brazilian wants her next fight to be against the new champion, the woman who gave her the first loss of her professional career.
"After everything that happened, the loss being so controversial…I still feel I’m undefeated. I know I didn’t lose that fight," Gadelha recently told reporters in Brazil, according to a report from Guilherme Cruz.
"Most of the people who watched the fight know what I’m talking about, so Joanna needs to be my next opponent so we can clear everything."
While Gadelha feels a grudge title rematch with Jedrzejczyk would be fitting and deserved, she did also concede that she’d be willing to fight other top opponents, next. "If they don’t want to give me Joanna now, I’d be up to fighting Carla or any other opponent in the division," she said.
"Carla and I are the only top 10 [strawweights] with no fight booked, so that could be an option. We also have a history with everything that happened in Invicta, so we have to fight. But first, Joanna and I have to go in there and fight to see who is best."
Before coming to the UFC, Gadelha fought in the InvictaFC promotion, where Esparza was once 115-pound champion, and where the UFC snatched most of its strawweights for the strawweight season of The Ultimate Fighter. Gadelha’s coach and manager, Andre Pederneiras also said that he has been reaching out to UFC president Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva to lobby for a rematch with Jedrzejczyk, but only time will tell if they listen.
"We ask for it all the time, but we don’t always get it," he said.