Ana Cláudia Dantas Gadelha is a Brazilian mixed martial artist born on December 7th 1988. She fights in the UFC women’s strawweight division. She has a black belt in BJJ under Andre Pederneiras and Jair Lourenço, she is the youngest black belt ever at Nova Uniao.
As a younster Claudia Gadelha didn’t get along well with her mother due to her rebellious behaviour. She wanted to practice martial arts but her mother didn’t let her, which steered her into drugs. When her mother found out Gadelha was relocated and started training martial arts at 14 years old.
At 18 she moved to Rio de Janeiro where she continued to excel in BJJ.
Claudia Gadelha’s career before the UFC
Claudia Gadelha made her MMA debut in July of 2008 and won her first fight by armbar after 17 seconds. She continued winning her 11 first fights, which included wins over veterans like Valerie Letourneau, Herica Tiburcio and Ayaka Hamasaki.
After her last win in Invicta FC (vs. Hamasaki) she got signed to the UFC.
Claudia Gadelha’s career in the UFC
Claudia Gadelha made her UFC debut at UFC on FOX 13 – Dos Santos vs. Miocic against the future champion and her nemesis Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The fight was very close but Jedrzejczyk edged out the decision.
Gadelha took on newcomer Jessica “JAG” Aguilar and defeated her by unanimous decision to get another crack at now champion Jedrzejczyk.
Claudia Gadelha vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk II
The rematch took place at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale after the two had coached a season of TUF against eachother. The fight was close in the beginning but as the rounds wore on, the champion started pulling away. In the end Jedrzejczyk was still the champion after a unanimous decision victory.
Gadelha only took three months off before she came back and fought Courtney Casey on UFC Fight Night 100: Bader vs. Nogueira 2. Gadelha once again won by unanimous decision.
In her most recent fight at time of writing, she faced off against former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz and surprised everybody with a submission victory (rear naked choke) in the first round.
Claudia Gadelha’s next fight in the UFC
Claudia Gadelha faces Jessica Andrade on UFC Fight Night 117: Shogun vs. Saint Preux 2 on September 22nd in Saitama, Japan.