Onetime strawweight title challenger Claudia Gadelha has been forced out of an upcoming fight against Cynthia Calvillo at UFC on ESPN7.
Gadelha on Tuesday made the announcement via her personal Instagram account, revealing ongoing problems with injuries from her past fight against Randa Markos, which continued to plague her as she prepared to face Calvillo on Dec. 7 in Washington D.C.
“After my last fight, I had to take a break because I broke a finger and I rolled my ankle,” Gadelha explained. “I have a torn ligament and a ruptured tendon, and I took some time off because I had to let it heal; I had to let my body heal and let my injuries heal. I went away, I told you guys I was going away, (and) I asked everybody not to bug me because I needed the time. I took the extra time and I went away and I did whatever I wanted to do. I came back and I started doing rehab. It’s been over two months now treating these injuries, and my finger is fine now, but my ankle is just not getting better.
“I did everything I could to be 100 percent by Dec. 7. The UFC knows, the [Performance Institute] knows because I’ve been there this whole time treating my injuries. It’s just not happening.”
According to Gadelha, when she realized her ankle injury wasn’t improving enough to allow a fight by December, she opted to withdraw now rather than later to save the promotion the trouble of finding another fighter on shorter notice.
“Unfortunately, I will have to pull out of this fight, which breaks my heart from the bottom of my heart,” Gadelha said. “I hate doing this, especially because I respect the UFC, I respect all of my opponents and I don’t want to do this to anybody. I would be very upset if it was happening to me.
“That’s why we don’t want to wait anymore. We had to make a decision now six weeks out. Somebody can still step in there and get ready for this fight. I’m here to say I’m so sorry for that.”
With Gadelha out, the UFC hasn’t announced a replacement opponent for Calvillo on the upcoming UFC on ESPN 7 card.
As for her own timeline to return, the 30-year-old Brazilian is going to continue to rehabilitate her injured ankle in hopes that she can fight again in early 2020.
“I’ll be ready to fight any time at the beginning of next year,” Gadelha said. “For now, the best thing for me is to pull out and take care of myself.”