Ex-UFC title challenger Claudia Gadelha retires from active competition

Claudia Gadelha
Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC

Former UFC strawweight title challenger, Claudia Gadelha has confirmed to the organization this Thursday, that she has retired from active competition with immediate effect, bringing a close to her career which began back in 2008.

Gadelha, 33, had competed 23 times professionally, establishing an 18-5 professional record, scoring seven submission victories to go with two other knockout wins.

Ranked at #7 at the time of her retirement, speculation began to mount regarding the future of Gadelha after she was officially pulled from the strawweight rankings today, as well as removed from selection in the fan rankings pool


Per an initial report from MMA Fighting reporters, Damon Martin, and Guilherme Cruz, Gadelha has today informed the UFC of her decision to retire from active competition – bringing an end to her seven-year stint with the organization.

Beginning her professional career with an impressive 12-fight undefeated run, Gadelha competed under the Invicta FC and Shooto banners prior to her July 2014 move to the UFC, where she dispatched Tina Lahdemaki in her promotional bow. 

In her next bout, Gadelha suffered a close split decision defeat to former strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, dropping the first defeat of her professional career. Gadelha would go on to again challenge Jedrzejczyk, this time for strawweight spoils at the culmination of their Ultimate Fighter 23 finale in December 2014, suffering a unanimous judging loss. The fight earned the pair Fight of the Night honors.

Across her UFC run, the Mossoro native scored notable victories against Jessica Aguilar, Cortney Casey, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, inaugural champion, Carla Esparza, as well as Randa Markos, and Angela Hill.

Gadelha’s most recent professional outing came in November of last year at UFC Vegas 13, suffering a unanimous decision defeat against Yan Xiaonan.

A decorated grappler, the Rio Grande do Norte native is a second degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Andre Pederneiras, and to go with her seven career submission wins, Gadelha won the bronze medal at the 2010 World No-Gi Championships in California at the brown belt entry-level, as well as scooping gold in 2008 and 2009 at the Brazilian National Championships in Rio de Janeiro.

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