UFC women’s strawweight Claudia Gadelha and Carla Esparza finally met inside the octagon at UFC 225 for a match that had been years in the making. It was a close competition, but Gadelha earned a split decision victory over her opponent in the end.
Since then, Carla Esparza has come forward to accuse her opponent of greasing during the fight. A competitor could theoretically grease their bodies to allow for an opponent with superior grappling to have a more difficult time controlling them.
Speaking to MMA Junkie, Claudia Gadelha has come forward to deny the accusation that she cheated and to explain that she is willing to rematch Esparza on the condition that they fight in Gadelha’s home country of Brazil.
“I think it’s very funny. It’s 2018, and MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world. We’d hear about that back in the day, but now there’s a rigorous athletic commission, and from the moment you walk into the arena to the final moment of your fight, there’s an athletic commission official following your every move. Also, before you enter the octagon there’s a final check, in which a second official checks you skin, and if you’re using the mandatory protective gear. So hearing that in the 21st century is kind of funny.”
“I think Carla was a little impressed with my smooth Brazilian skin, but you can tell her that in Brazil, women take good care of their skin. Actually, jokes aside, she was making excuses because I beat her using what she said she was he entire life: a wrestler. I dominated her where she thought she was best.
“I knew that I would have to either finish her or knock her out to keep her quiet, because since the first time I broke my nose and had to pull out of the fight against her, she’s the one who’s been talking a lot of crap. Before that fight in Chicago, she tried to act all nice, but if we search tweets from five years ago, we’ll see the amount of crap she said.”
“I cried a lot when I got hut in my last week of training in Las Vegas. I couldn’t believe it was happening. I was on my training partner’s back, with a closed triangle, but the arm that was over the neck was on the right side and I had to take her from the left to the right side to be able to safely secure the rear-naked choke. But halfway through, my knee popped very loudly, and it hurt a lot. We stopped practice and I ran to the Performance Institute’s physical therapy, where the physical therapist assured me she would help me get to the fight if we did physical therapy every day. That’s exactly what happened: She cared for my knee every day in Chicago so I could fight and, after the fight, she told me she knew I’d feel it in the fight, and that’s exactly what happened.
“Those who know me know I fight moving forward at all times, but I wasn’t able to stand on my injured knee, I had no mobility on the feet. I fought for three rounds, until the end, with one leg. And after the fight I didn’t say anything, but the UFC doctors saw me screaming in pain when I walked out of the octagon. I suffered a rupture in my meniscus and in the lateral ligament of the knee. We did the MRI on the Monday after the fight and I had surgery two days later. The surgery was successful and soon I’ll be back, healthy, God willing.”
“It isn’t very interesting for me to rematch Carla, but few people know that the UFC has been trying to schedule this fight for years, and she’s always finding obstacles. In fact, we were going to fight in Brazil on May 16, and she said she wouldn’t fight me in Brazil, so I accepted fighting at her home so this fight would finally happen. But I already told the UFC that we can schedule a rematch, only this time she’ll have to come to Brazil.
“I want to get healthy and get back to training well. I’ve been at the top of the division for many years, and I think a title shot can happen at any moment.”