Joanna Jedrzejczyk became the first and only fighter to defeat Claudia Gadelha in December 2014, and Gadelha will have the opportunity to avenge that loss on July 8. And if she’s successful, the Brazilian already expects a third bout with the UFC strawweight champion.
"Maybe we fight a third time," Gadelha said during a media day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "The first fight between us was controversial. I believe I won, she says she won. I saw it several times, scored it round by round, and I don’t see myself losing. This time, if I win, I believe we’ll fight again."
Jedrzejczyk defeated Gadelha via unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 13, and went on to beat then UFC champion Carla Esparza four months later. Jedrzejczyk defended her belt twice in 2015, dominating Jessica Penne and Valerie Letourneau, but Gadelha still sees the champion as a one-dimensional fighter.
"Joanna is a muay thai fighter with good takedown defense," Gadelha said. "You’ll never see Joanna fighting MMA, going for takedowns or working from the bottom, the complete MMA game. She’s not well-rounded. She’s a limited fighter. An excellent striker, good takedown defense, and that’s it. She gives her opponents a chance to find holes in her game. That’s what we’re going to do."
Gadelha bounced back to the win column with a win over Jessica Aguilar at last August’s UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro, and the win gave her confidence to stand and trade with Jedrzejczyk at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale if necessary.
"I’m very confident in my striking. I’m training a lot standing. I have a game plan and I will follow that," she said. "Joanna would never lie on the ground and say ‘come do jiu-jitsu with me’. We can’t get into a clash of styles. I will do my game, which is grappling. I’m shorter than her.
"She needs the long distance to use her muay thai. Whoever does the best game will win. I have what it takes to stand and trade with any girl in this division, and I’m sure that if my hand lands on Joanna’s face, she will go down."