With all due respect to Jose Aldo and Max Holloway, who are likely to burn down the building from Brazil, the fight that might be the most entertaining will come right before them.
Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz both know what it takes to compete for UFC gold. That means they are as hungry as ever to get back into that position.
Gadelha will have the hometown crowd behind her, as the Brazilian wants nothing more than a third meeting with UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She’s fought eight rounds and 40 minutes with the champion, only to come out on the losing end of a pair of decisions.
Outside of that, Gadelha has yet to taste defeat, including UFC wins over Cortney Casey, Jessica Aguilar and Tina Lahdemaki. She also bested the likes of Ayaka Hamasaki, Herica Tiburico and Valerie Letourneau prior to signing with the promotion.
She is a quick starter, but showed plenty of gas in the tanks by going five rounds with Jedrzejczyk last July.
Kowalkiewicz challenged the champion in November, also falling via decision. That marked her first career defeat in 11 bouts and came on the heels of a razor-close split decision win vs. Rose Namajunas.
The native of Poland is also technically seeking a third meeting with Jedrzejczyk, as she lost in 2012 in an amateur fight with her via submission.
These are two ladies who will do nothing but stand and trade until the other wilts. Which is exactly what a co-main event should do.