Carla Esparza vs. Claudia Gadelha announced for UFC 225 in Chicago

15 February 2018

Former women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza (13-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) will meet onetime title challenger Claudia Gadelha (15-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) at UFC 225.

UFC officials today announced the matchup for the June 9 pay-per-view event at United Center in Chicago. The contest marks the first official fight announced for the card.

Gadelha is currently ranked No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA strawweight rankings, while Esparza sits at No. 7.

Esparza vs. Gadelha has long been discussed as a potential matchup in the 115-pound division, dating back to their days under the Invicta FC banner when two scheduled contests between the fighters failed to come to fruition.

Esparza was the UFC’s first strawweight champion, claiming the belt with a submission win over now-champ Rose Namajunas at The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale. Esparza would lose the belt to Joanna Jedrzejczykin her next outing but has since gone 3-1 in the octagon, including recent back-to-back wins over Maryna Moroz and, most recently, Cynthia Calvillo.

Meanwhile, Gadelha looks to rebound from a hard-fought “Fight of the Night” loss to Jessica Andrade at this past September’s UFC Fight Night 117 event in Japan. Prior to that, Gadelha had earned consecutive wins over  Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Cortney Casey.

For more on UFC 225, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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