Top-ranked strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha has lost to champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk twice. While considered the second best 115-pound female fighter on the planet, Gadelha isn’t a viable option for a title shot. Even she recognizes that a third bout isn’t appealing to the fans because of the two previous losses. Jedrzejczyk officially holds two wins over Gadelha, but the Brazilian maintains that she’s only lost to the champion once.
“We’re in a sport where you can win, and you can lose at any time. Of course, we work with results, and we always want positive results, but we can’t always get that. About my two defeats to Joanna, I believe there was only one. There are two on paper, but if you were to analyze the fight, I did not lose that first fight to her. The second fight I really did lose,” she said during the UFC 212 post-fight press conference.
Not only does Gadelha believe she defeated Jedrzejczyk when they two first fought in December 2014, she believes that she’s a better MMA fighter than the champion.
“If you look at it, I have better technique, better MMA technique. I’m not a better striker, but I’m a better MMA fighter than Joanna,” she said. “I believe I’m No. 1 in the rankings. It’s on paper. Joanna is the champion. I have all the tools to beat her.”
Gadelha knows that she has to put together an impressive winning streak to earn another shot at the title, and she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to get another crack at Jedrzejczyk.
“It’s my challenge. I want to show everyone that I’m able to fight Joanna again. I want everyone to come up to me and say, ‘yeah, right now, now Claudia has all the capabilities to beat Joanna.’ That’s why I’m working on the flaws that I think I had when I fought her the first and the second time,” said the Brazilian. “I’m in a complicated situation. I’m No. 1 in the rankings but I’ve fought the champion twice.”
“I consider myself the best fighter in the division, but I think a few things are missing,” she added. “I will be prepared to fight Joanna. I’m sure of that.”