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One-Time UFC Strawweight Title Challenger Claudia Gadelha Announces Retirement


The victor of the very first Ultimate Fighting Championship strawweight fight is hanging up her gloves.

The automated UFC roster tracker on Twitter named UFC Roster Watch noted on Friday that Claudia Gadelha had been removed from the UFC roster. Those announcements do not necessarily mean that the fighter has been let go, but rather that they are ineligible for rankings or are otherwise pulled due to inactivity. In this case, as later announced by MMA Fighting, Gadelha had indeed informed the UFC that she would be retiring from competition. She has since confirmed this news on her Instagram stories, thanking people for their support.

The 33-year-old from Mossoro, Brazil, last competed in November 2020, when she took on Xiaonan Yan and lost a unanimous verdict. The setback ended a two-fight win streak where she beat Randa Markos and Angela Hill at the hands of the judges. Throughout her UFC tenure, she has defeated the likes of Carla Esparza, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Cortney Casey, to name a few.

Gadelha made her debut with the organization as part of the first 115-pound fight in company history, when she took on Tina Lahdemaki and won by decision. Undefeated at that point with names on her ledger including of Ayaka Hamasaki, Herica Tiburcio and Valerie Letourneau, the 12-0 fighter then faced off against future champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk and dropped a close split decision that most felt she won. Coming back to rematch Jedrzejczyk by beating Jessica Aguilar, she again fell short to Jedrzejczyk this time for the title, in clearer fashion after a “Fight of the Night” battle. She never fought for a belt again.

“Claudinha” will leave the sport with a UFC record of 7-5, having faced most of the toughest opponents the division had to offer. She has yet to make a statement on what her future plans entail, while on Thursday, she was working with fellow female UFC greats on an unknown project. She currently maintains a subscription-based private “VIP” page through the FanTime service.

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