Monday, July 4, 2022

Claudia Gadelha Wants Trilogy With Joanna Jędrzejczyk In Grappling

Former UFC strawweight title challenger Claudia Gadelha wants to run it back one more time with Joanna Jędrzejczyk away from the Octagon.

Gadelha announced her retirement from MMA last year following a loss to Yan Xiaonan in Nov. 2020. She later admitted that her retirement was mostly due in part to concussion symptoms she noticed over time.

Before her most recent struggles, Gadelha had been considered one of the top strawweights in the UFC. But, she failed to get over the hump in two title fights against Jędrzejczyk, falling to the Polish star in 2014 and 2016.

During a recent interview with MMA Fighting’s Trocacao Franca podcast, Gadelha expressed a profound interest in a third matchup with the former strawweight champion, but in a different setting than their first two fights.

“I’d really have liked to do a third fight with Joanna. A lot. A lot,” Gadelha said. “I think those two fights were really close, and I would’ve loved to have fought her a third time. I don’t regret not doing it. … But it would make me happy if it happens in jiu-jitsu.”

But while Gadelha is intrigued by her dream trilogy with Jędrzejczyk, she isn’t holding on to the hope of it ever coming to fruition.

“I don’t think she’d agree to it,” Gadelha said. “It will just linger in the air, really.”

Jędrzejczyk is set to face former strawweight champion Zhang Weili in a highly anticipated rematch at UFC 275. She could be on the verge of another title shot with a victory over Weili.

Gadelha didn’t phase out of the strawweight title picture following her losses to Jędrzejczyk, with impressive wins over the likes of Carla Esparza and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Yet, she was never able to earn another title shot before she called it quits.

Gadelha seems at peace with her decision to retire from MMA but still seems to think about her rivalry with Jędrzejczyk from time to time.

How do you think a trilogy in grappling between Claudia Gadelha and Joanna Jędrzejczyk would play out?

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