Last September, Claudia Gadelha’s surprisingly one-sided defeat to Jessica Andrade caught the attention of fans, especially from Brazil, who witnessed the former title contender get beat up badly at UFC Japan. Now, three months after the fact, Gadelha explains how she thinks that devastating result came about.
“When you realize at the beginning of training camp that you won’t be able to bring it to a productive end, for several reasons, then you shouldn’t even do it”, Gadelha told AG. Fight. “MMA is a sport of results, and if you lose, it’s because you went the wrong way in some aspects of preparation. I divide preparation for a fight into three phases: Working on a strategy, working together to be able to follow that strategy and, the final step, weight loss and recovery from the weight cut.”
Somewhere along the way, something appears to have gone wrong for Gadelha, though she didn’t mention what exactly happened going into the bout in Saitama, Japan.
“There are a lot of factors that depend on each other when you’re looking for results on a high level […], so we need to be focused from start to finish. I guess it wasn’t the right time to fight in Japan, but I wanted to do that so much and I made mistakes in more than one of those phases.”
“Towards the end [of camp] I even realized I was doing some things wrong, but I would never leave the UFC hanging and withdraw from the fight at the time because I felt that I did something wrong when I shouldn’t have made a mistake. It’s my fault and not theirs, and I’m the one who has to pay for it.”
Gadelha said she’s been enjoying time with her family since UFC Japan, travelling and not going through the rigorous grind of constant training. Now, with renewed energy, she plans to get back into the cage in either April or May, still taking her time to resume a loose training schedule and to define what her next camp will look like. While Gadelha has been training at Greg Jackson’s MMA academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, “Claudinha” said that her next training camp might take place elsewhere.
“I have a good relationship with my head coach, who lives in New Mexico. [But] I like the idea that someone is looking specifically for what’s best for me, to hire coaches who focus on my evolution, who work for me to be able to grow. And so, I don’t have the right team at the moment. Lately, I’ve felt the urge to travel, to get to know other places and to learn a little more.”
Once she does get back into the cage, Gadelha is looking to start a run at the title again. While she stated after her second loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk that she wanted to take her time before getting another shot at gold, Gadelha wants to seize the moment now that the division’s long-reigning champion has lost, which will likely make it easier for the Brazilian to justify a title fight.
“The belt has always been my goal, and with Joanna’s defeat, it’s getting busy in the division and a lot can happen. I plan to fight again in April or May, so I’m watching closely what happens [in the division] to plan my year. I want to fight the top girls, the ones that are coming off wins and that are going up in the rankings, like Felice [Herrig] and Tecia [Torres]. I think that would be ideal.”