A UFC strawweight pairing between former division title chaser, Cláudia Gadelha, and Brazilian compatriot, Marina Rodriguez has been booked for UFC Fight Night Oklahoma City on May 2nd. UFC officials announced the pairing on Wednesday evening.
One-time title challenger, Gadelha looks to earn a second crack at Octagon gold as she makes her first appearance since her unanimous decision win over Randa Markos last July. The Rio Grande do Norte native was expected to take on slick boxer, Alexa Grasso at UFC 246 in January – but was removed from the event after Guadalajara-born Grasso tipped the scales at 121.5-pounds.
Rio Grande do Sul native, Rodriguez remained undefeated in the promotion in her most recent outing, scoring a rather dubious majority decision draw against Cynthia Calvillo. The 32-year-old Muay Thai practitioner had made her Octagon debut back in September 2018, having competed on Dana White Tuesday Night Contenders Series that April. Rodriguez is currently 2-0-2 in the UFC, having handing defeats to Jessica Aguilar and Tecia Torres following another majority decision draw, in her debut against the previously noted, Markos. The undefeated striker arrived in the UFC, boasting an eye-catching nine-fight win streak.
Since her Octagon bow back in 2014 – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player, Gadelha has managed some impressive victories, against the likes of inaugural division best, Carla Esparza, fellow title challenger, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and Courtney Casey. Gadelha has twice faced Polish striker, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, losing via an extremely close split decision in their first outing before dropping a unanimous decision judging two years later – developing a rather heated rivalry in the process.