Tomorrow night’s fight between Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade is the biggest UFC Strawweight non-title women’s fight to date. Both of these fighters are championship caliber and will look to knock the other down a peg or two. This is a fight to get back to the title picture at 115 pounds. Both have lost to the current champ, but have beaten everyone else they have faced in the division. In my opinion, this is the true main event of tomorrow’s Fight Night.
Claudia is coming off the biggest win of her career, a slick first-round submission win over Karolina Kowalkiewicz. It was only the second loss of Karolina’s career and was her first time ever being finished. Gadelha put together a great fight, starting with strikes, followed by a take down and then the fight ending choke.
Claudia is arguably the most well-rounded female in the 115 lb division. Her stand-up and ground game are both equally skillful and scary. She will look for her third win in a row in Japan.
Jessica on the other hand, is coming off of a tough championship fight loss, to Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Jessica showed tons of heart in that fight, but just didn’t have enough tools to win on the highest level of fighting that night. Prior to that, Andrade had reeled off three consecutive wins including a submission over Joanne Calderwood and a knockout over Jessica Penne.
Jessica is probably the hardest hitting female, pound-for-pound in the UFC. Her striking power is on another level. It reminds me of prime Wanderlei Silva when she starts swinging. If she throws the right shot at the right time, it’s lights out for any one on the receiving end.
If ever there was a time for either one of these two stars to have a breakout performance, this is it. With the birth of the 125-pound division, it looks like Joanna will probably be going up in weight following her next fight. While she is set to defend her belt against Rose Namajunas in November, an eventual move to 125 seems very likely.
Claudia and Jessica will be fighting toward another shot at the championship. These two have been on a mission to clear out the whole division and the only fighter left in either’s path towards another title fight, is each other. That makes this a must-see fight.
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