Claudia Gadelha has had two fights with Joanna Jedrzejczyk and both have gone the distance but not in her favor. The losses haven’t held down Gadelha who is looking to get back into title contention in the strawweight division, and there’s belief that a win at UFC 225 against Carla Esparza, she’ll be right back into the title picture.
Chris Luttrell, the head coach for Gadelha is firmly behind that belief saying that Gadelha has sharpened her tools in preparation for this fight, and it’s going to lead to a future title fight. Gadelha moved her camp to Las Vegas and would fly Luttrell to Vegas to put in work, and he said that her being at the UFC Performance Institute was the best thing for her.
“The UFC Performance Institute is what I would expect an Olympic training center to be like. It was an incredible experience, the facilities are all top notch and everything is free for the fighters. I had the opportunity to come in and see how others worked and then I was able to jump in and teach some things as well.”
Now that Rose Namajunas has dethroned Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the strawweight title and also defended it against the former champion, Luttrell believes that a decisive win will be all that’s needed for Gadelha to get another title shot, this time against the new champion.
“I do believe a win gets us to the title shot, and she’s growing. She’s been exposed to a lot of new things and she’s been given a lot of new information. In the past, it was pretty much like she was bringing a knife to a gun fight. I do think that now would be the best time to fight Jedrzejczyk again, I do think now would be the best time for another title fight.”
Even with there being a new champion atop the division, Luttrell believes that whether it’s Namajunas or even Jessica Andrade, Gadelha has the best possible matchup for whoever holds the belt when the opportunity presents itself. While there is certainly a future focus on getting to the top of the division, Luttrell and Gadelha are not looking past their opponent on Saturday night.
“Carla is a very tough opponent and she does what she has to do to win the fight. I think it’s going to be a very good fight. The biggest thing is making sure that Claudia comes out and brings the fight, and show what she’s developed in preparation for this fight.”
With sharpened tools and time in a new camp, Luttrell is not lacking confidence in his fighter come Saturday night.
“I’m going to go ahead and forecast a win on Saturday. I just think it’s going to be a heck of a fight, and I think one fighter is going to come in looking to make it all about her wrestling while the other is going to look to come in and drop bombs.”
A title shot is “absolutely” on deck for Gadelha and her coach with a win on Saturday, and as she’s sharpened her tools in a new camp, the world may be witnessing the best version of Claudia Gadelha at UFC 225.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
Follow me on Twitter: @MP2310