If not for the spectacular rise of Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s strawweight titleholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Claudia Gadelha would likely be talked about in far more glowing terms. Nevertheless, she remains one of the best in the business at 115 pounds.
Gadelha will carry a two-fight winning streak into her critical battle with fellow Brazilian Jessica Andrade in the UFC Fight Night 117 co-main event on Friday at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Whichever woman emerges figures to be near the front of the line to face the winner of the forthcoming Nov. 4 title fight between Jedrzejczyk and Rose Namajunas. Since losing a unanimous decision to Jedrzejczyk a little more than a year ago, Gadelha has rattled off back-to-back victories against Cortney Casey and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. “Claudinha” has compiled a 4-2 record in six UFC appearances.
In a brief but eventful career, Gadelha has amassed her share of intriguing statistical data:
3: Brazilian jiu-jitsu world championships on her resume, all of them at the brown belt level.
7: Submissions to her credit. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Nova Uniao impresario Andre Pederneiras, Gadelha has secured five victories by armbar and two by rear-naked choke. However, her submission of Kowalkiewicz was her first in nearly seven years.
8: First-round finishes under her belt. Her list of victims: Kowalkiewicz, Adriana Vieira, Kalindra Faria, Alessandra Silva, Areane Monteiro, Davina Maciel, Juliana de Sousa and Elaine Leite.
12: Consecutive victories to start her career. The winning streak culminated with a unanimous decision over Tina Lahdemaki in the first women’s strawweight match in Ultimate Fighting Championship history on July 16, 2014.
17: Seconds Gadelha needed to win her professional debut. She submitted Leite with an armbar at a Force Fighting Championship event on June 5, 2008.
27: Takedowns executed in UFC competition, according to FightMetric data. Gadelha averages 4.5 takedowns per fight.
28: Years of age. Gadelha will turn 29 on Dec. 7.
83: Percentage of takedowns she has successfully defended in the UFC. Only Jedrzejczyk has managed to take her down inside the Octagon.
93: Significant strikes by which she has outlanded the opposition in her four UFC wins. Gadelha was outpaced 214-90 in the category in her two losses to Jedrzejczyk.
100,000: Dollars in post-fight bonus money earned since joining the UFC roster. Gadelha banked a $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus after her five-round decision loss to Jedrzejczyk at “The Ultimate Fighter 23” Finale and a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus after she submitted Kowalkiewicz at UFC 212.