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Former UFC title contender Claudia Gadelha retires from active competition

UFC Fight Night Santos v Teixeira: Weigh-Ins Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

One of the premier grapplers at 115-pounds is hanging up the gloves. Per a first report from MMAFighting, former Strawweight title challenger Gadelha recently informed UFC that she was retiring from active competition.

It’s easy to forget, but when Gadelha joined the UFC roster back seven years ago, the undefeated Brazilian was an early favorite to capture Strawweight gold. An Invicta FC veteran and highly accomplished jiu-jitsu black belt, all was going according to plan for Gadelha until she ran into an unknown kickboxer named Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Gadelha lost a highly competitive battle vs. the Polish striker in 2014, and the two rematched two years later after coaching The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). This time, there was little controversy, as Gadelha was soundly defeated in what would be the only UFC title fight of her career.

Since then, Gadelha struggled to build momentum at 115 lbs. She took out some top contenders like Carla Esparza and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, but Gadelha consistently had difficulty maintaining a high pace into the later rounds, which cost her in several fights.

All in all, Gadelha retires with an 18-5 (7-5 UFC) professional record. Her final bout took place in November 2020, a decision loss to Yan Xiaonan. Currently, she stands at No. 7 in the official Strawweight rankings.