Carla Esparza had her two-fight win streak snapped by Claudia Gadelha this past weekend (Sat., June 9, 2018) at UFC 225 in Chicago, Illinois, coming up short on the judges’ scorecard via split-decision after three hard-fought rounds.
Full recap here.
According to the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Strawweight champion, though, Gadelha wasn’t fighting fair, as Esparza took to The MMA Hour to accuse the Brazilian of “cheating” her way to a victory.
“I just shook her hand, I was trying to be respectful to coaches regardless of whatever happens in the fight. I shook her hand, but personally I have things to say to her,” said Carla. “Flat out, and this is not an excuse because I lost becasue I still feel I won, but she cheated in the fight. She greased before the fight. I was considering saying something to the ref in between the fight. I was going to say she’s greasing but I didn’t really know how to go about it. It’s pretty shady to me,” said Esparza, who was even more convinced after re-watching the tape.
“I just watched the fight and my hands were slipping right off. When I was trying to grab arm-bars in the fight, my arms were just slipping right down. She’s a cheater but it doesn’t really surprise me. In my opinion she has been a dirty fighter throughout. So, it is what it is, you know?”
Or could it have simply been too much sun lotion?
Esparza admits her bitter rival did score more takedowns, which looks better for the judges, but says she couldn’t do much to counter because of the slippery effect of greasing. Something B.J. Penn can attest to.
“Cookie Monster” says she isn’t surprised Gadelha found a way to “cheat” her way to a win, which Esparza claims Gadelha has been doing for a while now.
“Throughout her career, I just feel that she’s you know, I am not too surprised that she’s a cheater and she found a way. It’s kind of upsetting because I felt like I won it anyway. I felt like things could have been a bit more dominant on my side had that not been the case.”
It doesn’t seem as if Esparza will have a talk with the Illinois athletic commission but does regret not speaking up during and after the fight to the referee. In closing she did have some words for Claudia.
“Claudia, you are a cheater, straight up. It’s not cool. But it is what it is, it’s done with,” said Esparza, who will now
wipe dust herself off and get back on the horse in hopes of starting another win streak in order to climb back into title contention.
You saw the fight, did any of you see anything that seemed shady?