Claudia Gadelha is making her return to competition following a razor-thin split-decision victory over Carla Esparza at UFC 225 when she books a flight to Toronto to face #11 ranked Nina Ansaroff in what will easily be the biggest opportunity in Ansaroff’s UFC career. The fight has been officially announced by the UFC.
Nina Ansaroff has had a busy summer. First, getting engaged to Amanda Nunes weeks ago and now having a bout signed for the end of the year when she faces former strawweight title challenger Claudia Gadelha. Ansaroff’s UFC run got off to a shaky start when she lost her debut to Juliana Lima by unanimous decision in November of 2014 and then lost her follow-up bout to Justine Kish at UFC 195 in January of 2016. Ansaroff would then return one year later to pick up her first win in the promotion over Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger via rear naked choke. Since then, Ansaroff has refused to break stride, picking up two additional victories over Angela Hill and, most recently, over Randa Markos, with both victories coming by way of unanimous decision. This bout will mark Ansaroff’s first bout in the Top 10, let alone the Top 5, when she takes on Claudia Gadelha, who will give Ansaroff more than enough to prepare for in the quickest turnaround in Ansaroff’s four-year UFC career.
Claudia Gadelha began her MMA career on a 12-0 campaign before dropping a split decision to Joanna Jedrzejczyk in what was about as close a fight as you can expect to see. Gadelha would eventually challenge Jedrzejczyk for the strawweight championship and once again come up short, this time unanimously. Since then, Gadelha has won three of her last four fights, over Cortney Casey, fellow former strawweight title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and most recently, Carla Esparza in a tight split-decision victory at UFC 225 in Chicago, Illinois. A win here would boost Gadelha’s recent record to 4-1 in her last five fights, which would nudge Gadelha closer to getting in title contention once again.
Who do you think will win this strawweight bout? Claudia Gadelha or Nina Ansaroff?