Claudia Gadelha is going to be the No. 1 contender for the UFC Strawweight Championship regardless of whether or not Joanna Jedrzejczyk retains the title at UFC 193, but should the Polish Champion lose, Gadelha wants to fight her anyway.
“I want to fight Joanna,” Gadelha made clear in an interview with MMAjunkie.com. “Even if she loses the title, I don’t care about the title –I want to fight her. I think she will win the fight and the UFC said if she wins the fight and nothing happens to her, we will fight in February. I will fight her anywhere.”
The first fight between the two was extremely close, with Jedrzejczyk taking a somewhat questionable split decision. Gadelha wants that fight back, and after injury issues for herself wound up putting Letourneau into the fight at UFC 193, she’s preparing to get that rematch next regardless.
“I think Joanna will win because Valerie, she lose a lot of weight and she lose a lot of performance in that division,” Gadelha said. “So I think Joanna can win that fight pretty easy.
“My challenge for her is already on. She knows I want to fight her already anyways. I’ll make that happen anyways. Even if they don’t want to make that happen, I’ll make that happen. So if they want me to get inside the Octagon and challenge her, I will.”
Penick’s Analysis: Gadelha-Jedrzejczyk II is a fight that simply has to happen, and it’s likely next. Now, should Letourneau pull off the upset, there’s every possibility the UFC goes the rematch route depending on how that would happen. Of course, Jedrzejcyzk enters Saturday’s card as a massive favorite, and should get past Letourneau. If that happens, the rematch between these two will be one of the more anticipated title bouts into the new year.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]