Invicta FC’s 115-pound championship will be on the line on Dec. 7 when undefeated Claudia Gadelha takes on current champion Carla Esparza at Invicta FC’s seventh show. The city and the venue for the event are yet to be officially announced.
MMA Rising first reported this fight was in the works.
Esparza (9-2) and Gadelha (11-0) were originally set to meet at Invicta FC 4 last January, but a broken nose forced Gadelha out of the bout. Bec Hyatt replaced the Brazilian, and Esparza became Invicta FC’s first 115-pound champion with a unanimous decision victory.
"Esparza is a great fight for me," Gadelha told MMAFighting.com. "I wanted that fight before but they gave me Hamasaki first. Their styles are very similar, but the difference is that Esparza has better boxing and is stronger, but I will work well in every area.
"I always try to do my best and I never go there thinking that I will get an easy win," she continued. "I respect every opponent, never underestimate anyone, but I was very confident. I wasn’t expecting to dominate Hamasaki that way for three rounds because she was undefeated with nine wins, with four submissions and one knockout."
A shot at the title motivates the jiu-jitsu black belt, who turns 25 years old on the day of the fight.
"That’s everything that I want now, I’m hungry for that title," she said. "I never won anything easily in my life, I’ve been through a lot of things. Going outside to represent my country and win this title for Brazil would mean everything to me. That would be the accomplishment of eight years of hard work.
"It was a dream coming true for me," she continued. "Invicta FC is the biggest female organization in the world today and stepping inside that cage to represent Brazil was incredible. The promotion is huge, they treat us well, and they admire and care about all the athletes."
Esparza has three wins via submission and three by knockout, but Gadelha guarantees the champion will have a tough night on Dec. 7.
"What she does best is the takedown and ground and pound, but so do I," Gadelha said. "I’m training wrestling a lot with Pirata, the coach of Brazil’s national wrestling team, and my game has evolved a lot, so she won’t take me down easily."