Category Archives: Claudia Gadelha

Slew of bouts official for UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan

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The lineup for UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan is taking shape with a slew of new additions.

UFC Fight Night 117 takes place Sept. 22 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, near Tokyo. It’s expected to air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

UFC officials recently added a handful of new matchups to the overseas card.

The biggest official addition is a previously reported fight between Claudia Gadelha (15-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), who’s No. 2 in the MMA women’s strawweight rankings, and No. 3-ranked Jessica Andrade (16-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC).

Also on the card, welterweight Hyun Gyu Lim (13-6-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC), who’s in a must-win situation due to his current 1-3 skid, meets undefeated promotional newcomer and Pancrase vet Daichi Abe (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

Additionally, welterweight Alex Morono (13-3-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC), whose recent loss to Niko Price was overturned when his opponent failed a drug test due to marijuana, now puts his seven-fight winning streak on the line against Keita Nakamura (32-8-2 MMA, 2-5 UFC), a 14-year vet who’s 2-2 in his third and most recent UFC stint.

Also on the card are two featherweight bouts: Rolando Dy (8-5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) vs. Teruto Ishihara (9-4-2 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) and Mizuto Hirota (18-8-2 MMA, 1-3-1 UFC) vs. Charles Rosa (11-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC).

The latest UFC Fight Night 117 card now includes:

  • Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux
  • Jessica Andrade vs. Claudia Gadelha
  • Henrique da Silva vs. Gokhan Saki
  • Jussier Formiga vs. Ulka Sasaki
  • Chan-Mi Jeon vs. Syuri Kondo
  • Daichi Abe vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
  • Alex Morono vs. Keita Nakamura
  • Rolando Dy vs. Teruto Ishihara
  • Mizuto Hirota vs. Charles Rosa

For more on UFC Fight Night 117, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Report: Claudia Gadelha, Jessica Andrade set to meet at UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan

Taking matchmaking into their own hands seems to have paid off for UFC strawweights Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade.

After Gadelha (15-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) issued an Instagram challenge to Andrade (16-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC), who accepted it, Combate.com says the matchup is on. According to the report, the two are set to meet at UFC Fight Night 117, which takes place Friday, Sept. 22 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, near Tokyo (via Instagram).

Instagram Photo

Currently ranked No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s strawweight rankings, Gadelha comes off a quick submission win over former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz, at last month’s UFC 212. Gadelha had beaten Cortney Casey before that, which puts her at 2-0 since a failed five-round title beat against current champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk at last July’s TUF 23 Finale.

Jessica Andrade

No. 3 Andrade, in turn, comes off her own unsuccessful stab at Jedrzejczyk’s belt, at UFC 211. The setback snapped the three-fight streak that Andrade, who started her UFC run at bantamweight, had been riding since dropping to the 115-pound division. Her most recent win was a UFC “Fight of the Night” decision effort over former Invicta FC champ Angela Hill at UFC Fight Night 104.

The latest UFC Fight Night 117 card includes:

  • Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux
  • Jussier Formiga vs. Ulka Sasaki
  • Henrique da Silva vs. Gokhan Saki
  • Chan-Mi Jeon vs. Syuri Kondo
  • Claudia Gadelha vs. Jessica Andrade

For more on UFC Fight Night 117, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC's Claudia Gadelha challenges fellow Brazilian Jessica Andrade – who accepts

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UFC strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha has made no secret of her struggle to get an opponent. So, on Monday, she decided to take matters into her own hands.

Fresh off a quick submission win over Karolina Kowalkiewicz at last month’s UFC 212, Gadelha (15-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) called out yet another one of champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s recent victims: fellow Brazilian Jessica Andrade (16-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC).

Instagram Photo

“I’m waiting to hear about my next fight since I got out of the octagon in my last fight,” Gadelha said on an Instagram post, with versions in both her native Portuguese and English. “Nobody stepped in until now but I read today that (Jessica Andrade) wants to fight me. She’s got some guts. Let’s make it happen.”

Translation from the Portuguese version of the post:

“I read today that (Jessica Andrade) wants to fight me. I’ve been waiting for the UFC to respond about my next opponent since I left the octagon in my last fight, and nobody said yes so far. So, Jessica, let’s make it happen? I’m waiting for a call at any time today, even if it’s at 2 am.”

Andrade later responded to the challenge. While she did say she was “misinterpreted” in her remarks about wanting to fight Gadelha, she accepted the matchup with her fellow Brazilian (via Instagram).

Instagram Photo

“It’s hard to fight a fellow compatriot,” Andrade said. “But if this fight happens I’m sure it will be a great battle. Yes, I accept it.”

Translation from the Portuguese version of the post:

“People misinterpret what we say. What they asked me was who would be by next UFC opponent. Since we never know who our next opponents will be, as the UFC decides and makes the fights, I said that in a next fight they could decide for a few ranked girls like Tecia Torres, Rose Namajunas or Claudia Gadelha. But, since they never find opponents neither for Gadelha nor for me, I think together we’d put on a show. Right, Gadelha? It’s hard to fight a compatriot, but if this fight happens I’m sure it will be a great battle. Yes, I accept it.”

Gadelha, who’s ranked No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s strawweight rankings, is riding a two-fight streak since a failed five-round title bid against champ Jedrzejczyk at last July’s TUF 23 Finale. Gadelha’s only other career loss also came at the hands of the current titleholder – though their first meeting, a non-title UFC on FOX 13, ended in a controversial split call.

No. 3 Andrade, in turn, comes off her own unsuccessful attempt at taking Jedrzejczyk’s belt, at UFC 211. Andrade, who started out her UFC career as a bantamweight, went on a three-fight 115-pound streak before earning her shot at the title. Her most recent victims are Jessica Penne, Joanne Calderwood and former Invicta FC champ Angela Hill.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

How Claudia Gadelha wishes she was Donald Cerrone of UFC strawweights but struggles to be

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Claudia Gadelha already has a target for “when” for her octagon return. It’s the “who” that’s proving to be the difficult part.

Gadelha (15-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is in a tough spot in the UFC’s 115-pound division. Currently ranked No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s strawweight rankings, and No. 1 in the official UFC rankings, she’s behind only one person in both lists: undefeated champion Joanna Jedrzejzcyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) .

Gadelha is also fresh off back-to-back wins – the most recent quick and dominant over fellow top contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), who’d just come off a five-round title shot herself.

Under normal circumstances, Gadelha would be a shoe-in for a title shot. Problem is, she already fought the champ – twice. And while the first bout was a non-title affair with a controversial split-decision ending, the second one was a clear five-round loss. Gadelha, in fact, is the first one to say that Jedrzejzcyk is not in the cards for her right now.

But that puts her in a bit of a bind.

“I intend to fight in September,” Gadelha told MMAjunkie. “I’m waiting for the UFC to get back to me. They’re trying, but it’s that same situation – I can’t find an opponent. It’s kind of annoying. Sometimes I wish I was the (Donald) Cerrone of strawweights. I wanted to get one fight right after the other. But I also understand that the men’s divisions have more options. And my situation at strawweight is very complicated. I wanted to fight again, I wanted to have a fight scheduled.

“I wanted to leave one fight with another one good to go, because that’s my goal in the division. But it’s hard. It’s complicated. There’s not much I can think or say, because all I can do is wait for someone to show up and want to fight. I’ve told the UFC multiple times that I’ll fight anyone in the division. It doesn’t matter who it is. I won’t handpick. But there are no opportunities, no options arising.”

While her octagon future remains muddy, Gadelha is making moves what she can control. After two camps in the U.S. – which led to the wins over Kowalkiewicz at last month’s UFC 212 and Cortney Casey at last November’s UFC Fight Night 100 – the Brazilian contender is now officially moving from Rio de Janeiro, where she’s lived for the past decade, to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

A former Nova Uniao product, Gadelha has made no secret of how well she’s adjusted to her new training regimen both under Greg Luttrell, who’s now her head coach, and at Greg Jackson’s gym. But, ultimately, her decision to make a new life abroad was about more than more advanced facilities and effective training methods.

As much as she loves Brazil, life at home was just too hard.

“I always tell my fighter friends who are still in Rio – it’s like you learn more,” Gadelha said. “You absorb more when you’re not worried, or stressed out. When you’re focused solely on that. In Rio there was traffic, stress, problems with a bunch of things. Everything was expensive. I was worried about a variety of things that got in the way of my training. Sometimes I’d get to the gym upset or late.

“In Albuquerque, it’s a lot more relaxed. I wake up, have breakfast at a big home. Everything is good and a lot different than what I was used to going through in Rio, in Natal (city where she lived for three years) and Mossoro (city of birth). That makes all the difference when it comes to absorbing techniques and learning. Even in physical conditioning, you get more time to rest. You don’t spend so much time in traffic. The whole context is a lot easier abroad.”

While she’s in a tricky situation as far as her current octagon position goes, Gadelha is also in a great place overall in her life. At 28, as one of the leading athletes on the biggest stage of the UFC, she looks back on the much different situation of when she arrived in Rio as a jiu-jitsu champ looking to break into MMA.

“It was very hard for me,” Gadelha said. “I arrived in Rio all by myself. I didn’t have anything. I had only a backpack, a gi and a bunch of dreams. I went to Rio wanting to be a fighter, but I didn’t have opportunities. I fought a lot of jiu-jitsu. I wanted to compete at MMA, but there were no opportunities. So I kept competing in jiu-jitsu, awaiting my shot until that first fight came. I was 18, and I loved it. But I made just enough money to get sneakers to train for the next fight. My purse was 300 reais (around $90.00 U.S.).

“It was very hard to support myself, to train, to eat well, and to fight. Everything was hard. Until I got opponents, and promotions that allowed women to fight – that was hard, too. I went through a lot of difficulties to be able to make it anywhere.”

Instagram Photo

In spite of all the difficulties, Gadelha managed to persevere not only as an athlete, but to pursue academic endeavors simultaneously. She attended law school and, while she hasn’t yet been able to finish, she’s got only one half of a final paper to turn in before earning a degree. And she’s already in talks with her university to get that done soon.

Being a lawyer, however, was never Gadelha’s dream. Yet, she wanted to apply to become a precinct chief – a position that, in Brazil, demands a degree and passing a highly competitive selection process. For now, with her focus elsewhere, these plans have taken a backseat.

But as Gadelha looks into her new life, they’re not dead just yet.

“I’ve been looking into my documentation in the U.S.” Gadelha said. “I do want to be a police officer. That’s why I went to law school in the first place, not to be a lawyer. And I’ve been studying the possibilities of joining some kind of special forces in the United States.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Submission of the Month' for June: A hyped debut ends in just 24 seconds

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best submissions from June. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Submission of the Month” award for June.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.

* * * *

The nominees

Brian Kelleher def. Iuri Alcantara at UFC 212

There were big punches and kicks coming at Brian Kelleher (17-7 MMA, 1-0 UFC) on hostile ground. But by the time he got done squeezing Iuri Alcantara’s (34-8 MMA, 9-3 UFC) neck, the Brazilian crowd was silent.

A guillotine choke brought Kelleher a quick win over Alcantara, starting his UFC career off with a bang.

Claudia Gadelha def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 212

In a battle between two recent women’s strawweight title contenders, Claudia Gadelha (15-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) nabbed an early takedown, and it proved to be the beginning of the end for Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC).

Moments after the fight hit the mat, Kowalkiewicz found Gadelha on her back. She made a chain of crucial mistakes, which allowed Gadelha to start squeezing for the rear-naked choke that would ultimately force the submission finish just a little over 3 minutes into the fight.

Ben Nguyen def. Tim Elliott at UFC Fight Night 110

No one will be underrating Ben Nguyen’s (17-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) ground game after his fight with former flyweight title challenger Tim Elliott (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC).

There wasn’t much to the fight. Nguyen used Elliott’s frenetic grappling against him, taking the back and sinking in a rear-naked choke early in the first round to earn an upset win.

James Gallagher def. Chinzo Machida at Bellator 180

The next big thing to come out of Ireland continued to live up to the hype in his toughest test so far when James Gallagher (7-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) quickly submitted Chinzo Machida (5-3 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) in their featherweight bout.

Gallagher, a teammates of UFC champ Conor McGregor, delivered a clean performance against Machida. He got the fight to the ground early and wasted no time taking Machida’s back and sinking in the rear-naked choke (http://mmajunkie.com/2017/06/bellator-nyc-bellator-180-official-results-ppv-live-video-stream) to end the fight just over two minutes after it began.

Zach Freeman def. Aaron Pico at Bellator NYC

The long-awaited debut of MMA super-prospect Aaron Pico (0-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) went horribly awry when he was hurt with a huge punch and then submitted by Zach Freeman (9-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) all within the span of 24 stunning seconds.

Pico, who was making his pro debut against a more experience foe in Freeman, ate an uppercut from Freeman just moments after the featherweight fight began. Pico closed the distance out of instinct, but Freeman took advantage and locked up a D’Arce choke, which put Pico to sleep just as he tapped out.

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* * * *

The Winner: Zach Freeman

The heavily hyped Pico is still a work in progress.

Freeman brought that fact into stark relief with an uppercut and guillotine choke that had Pico tapping quickly.

It was just over 24 seconds into the fight when Pico tapped and briefly went unconscious as Freeman modified his choke and squeezed with a D’Arce.

Pico handed him the opportunity. Perhaps eager to put a knockout on the board after promising one at the event’s weigh-ins, Pico immediately closed the distance and fired off an overhand right. Unfortunately for him, Freeman beat him to the punch with an uppercut.

Pico’s knees buckled, and Freeman grabbed the neck. Pico tried to get free but was quickly forced to tap.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 212 staff picks: Forget the staff – MMAjunkie readers are split like never before

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Filed under: News, UFC

Aldo
vs.
Holloway
Gadelha
vs.
Kowalkiewicz
Belfort
vs.
Marquardt
Bamgbose
vs.
Borrachinha
Medeiros
vs.
Silva
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 45-33
holloway2017
Holloway
(51%)
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
(52%)
belfort2017
Belfort
(56%)
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
(61%)
esilva2017
Silva
(51%)
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 52-26
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
esilva2017
Silva
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 49-29
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 47-25
trophy copy 2015 Champion
aldo2017
Aldo
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
esilva2017
Silva
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 47-31
trophy copy 2016 Champion
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
marquardt2017
Marquardt
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 45-33
trophy copy 2014 Champion
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 45-33
aldo2017
Aldo
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
esilva2017
Silva
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 45-33
aldo2017
Aldo
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 45-33
aldo2017
Aldo
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 42-36
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 38-40
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
esilva2017
Silva

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

The UFC returns to Brazil on Saturday for UFC 212, which features a featherweight title-unification fight at the top of the card.

UFC 212 takes place Saturday at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, featherweight champion Jose Aldo (26-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) is a narrow 6-4 choice over interim titleholder Max Holloway (17-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC).

Also on the card, Claudia Gadelha (14-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is the unanimous choice over fellow strawweight co-headliner Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), and Paulo Borrachinha (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is the 10-0 pick over middleweight Oluwale Bamgbose (6-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC).

Additionally, Vitor Belfort (25-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) is a 9-1 pick over fellow middleweight vet Nate Marquardt (35-17-2 MMA, 13-10 UFC), and Yancy Medeiros (13-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) is the 6-4 choice over fellow welterweight Erick Silva (19-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC).

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Holloway, Kowalkiewicz, Belfort, Borrachinha and Silva are the choices, though the results were awfully close.

Check out all the picks above.

And for more on UFC 212, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

'UFC 212 Embedded,' No. 5: Max Holloway gets a preview of a hostile Brazilian crowd

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

The UFC returns this week with UFC 212, and the promotion has rolled out its “Embedded” treatment for a preview of Saturday’s pay-per-view event.

UFC 212 takes place at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass

In the main event, featherweight champion Jose Aldo (26-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) meets interim champ Max Holloway (17-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) in a title-unification bout. Additionally, former strawweight title challengers and top contenders Claudia Gadelha (14-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) meet in the co-headliner.

In the fifth episode, the fighters head to a crowed open-workout event, where the Brazilians are warmly welcomed. MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira meets with his countrymen, and all the fighters continue a packed schedule of media obligations.

Check out the full episode above,

Also see:

And for more on UFC 212, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

10 reasons to watch UFC 212, where life returns to normal for UFC featherweights

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

On Saturday UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and interim champ Max Holloway compete in a title-unification bout. The hope is the matchup puts the weirdness of the past 17 months behind us.

It’s been a strange road to this point. In December 2015, Conor McGregor ended Aldo’s title reign with a 13-second knockout victory. McGregor held onto the title while he fought at welterweight and lightweight. Shortly after winning the lightweight title with a second-round TKO of Eddie Alvarez, McGregor was stripped of the featherweight belt. As a result, Aldo, who had won an interim title with a July 2016 win over Frankie Edgar, was promoted to undisputed champion. Holloway then captured an interim title in December with a TKO victory over former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

So, yes, it’s about time for a single undisputed UFC featherweight champion.

In the co-main event, top-ranked strawweights Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz meet in the hopes of getting back in the title mix.

UFC 212 takes place at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. Could be the first of many

I encourage you to check out the “Main Event” section of UFC 212 pre-event facts story for this fight card. Once you’ve done that, look at the (virtual) UFC featherweight record book, especially the striking section, and see where Aldo (26-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) and Holloway (17-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) sit among the all-time leaders. Impressive, right?

On paper this title-unification fight should be one of the more entertaining bouts of 2017. In Holloway you have a high-output, aggressive striker who constantly pressures his opponent. In Aldo, you have a great defensive fighter with some of the heaviest leg kicks the sport has ever seen.

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It’s not a stretch to think that this could be the first of several title fights between these two. After all, Aldo is 30 with no plans of retiring any time soon, and Holloway is just 25.

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2. Just accept it

No matter who wins the main event, the shadow of former featherweight champion McGregor will loom large in the minds of some fans. You know, the fans who, once the undisputed champion is crowned, will quickly point at the victor and say, “Yeah, but he lost to McGregor, so he’s not the real champion.”

That argument might be valid if McGregor planned to return to featherweight, but that appears very unlikely.

Like it or not, the winner of this fight is going to be the one and only UFC featherweight champion.

3. This feels familiar

The scenario in the co-main event is very similar to that of the main event of the recent UFC Fight Night 109 event. In one corner you have a fighter with two defeats in title fights, and in the other, a fighter with one loss in a title fight. The big difference at UFC 212 is that those three setbacks are the only blemishes on the records of Gadelha (14-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Kowalkiewicz (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC).

The stakes in this fight are similar to Sunday’s Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira fight in that the winner remains in the hunt for a title shot in the very near future.

What we’ll be watching for here is progress and development. Gadelha, who is No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA straaweight rankings, and No. 3-ranked Kowalkiewicz need to show they’ve learned lessons from their losses to champ Jedrzejczyk and have grown since those defeats.

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No one is saying an immediate title fight awaits the victor, but this is the UFC, and with an amazing performance, anything is possible.

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4. Who knows what the future holds?

Vitor Belfort is sending mixed messages ahead of his fight against Nate Marquardt. Earlier this year the No. 15-ranked middleweight was pondering wrapping up his UFC career. Now, Belfort says he feels rejuvenated and is looking for more UFC fights.

But hold on. Belfort’s also talking about possibly working for the UFC as a fighter liaison, opening a Tristar Gym affiliate in Florida and planning his own lifestyle brand – all things someone who’s ready to move on from the fight game would mention.

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Belfort (25-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) hasn’t won a fight since 2015, and he’s been TKOd in four of his past five (one later ruled a no-contest after his opponent, Kelvin Gastelum, failed a drug test, so maybe planning for a future that doesn’t include fighting is a positive. Marquardt (35-17-2 MMA, 13-10 UFC) is in a similar situation, having gone 3-7 in his past 10 fights with four losses via knockout.

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5. The next big thing?

Paulo Borrachinha received high praise following his UFC debut. After Borrachinha stopped Garreth McLellan in 77 seconds, MMAjunkie speculated the middleweight division might just have its next star in the former Jungle Fights champion. The McLellan stoppage was Borrachinha’s ninth first round finish in nine tries.

He returns to the octagon less than three months after that win, and the UFC has him competing on the main-card portion of UFC 212. Borrachinha (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), one of the biggest favorites on the card, faces Oluwale Bamgbose (6-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) who is 1-2 since joining the UFC and hasn’t fought since losing a decision to Cezar Ferreira in April 2016.

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6. Step two

After a 4-4 run at lightweight, Yancy Medeiros jumped to welterweight. The move paid immediate dividends with Medeiros earning a “Performance of the Night” bonus for his win over Sean Spencer at UFC 203.

With his days of cutting weight behind him, Medeiros hopes to make some noise in the 170-pound division; his head kick to rear-naked choke submission victory over Spencer was a good first step. At UFC 212, Medeiros (13-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) gets a chance to take another step against a bigger name opponent in Erick Silva (19-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC).

Silva is coming of a “Fight of the Night” bonus-winning submission win over Luan Chagas. Before that win, Silva was stuck in the first two-fight losing skid of his career.

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7. There are levels to this

Shortly after Cody Garbrandt captured the UFC bantamweight title from Dominick Cruz, Marlon Moraes told MMAjunkie that fight served as inspiration for his successful Dec. 31 WSOF bantamweight title defense against Josenaldo Silva. Moraes also said the Garbrandt vs. Cruz fight let him know he could compete at a championship level in the UFC.

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After an 11-0 run in WSOF, which included five title defenses, Moraes signed with the UFC. He gets the chance to put his theory to the test at UFC 212. Moraes (18-4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), ranked No. 6 in the division, faces No. 4-ranked Raphael Assuncao (24-5 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who’s coming off a split-decision win over Aljamain Sterling.

The fight is Moraes’ first in his home country of Brazil since 2010.

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8. Return to the scene

During the UFC’s sale to WME-IMG, the promotion forget to send Eric Spicely his release paperwork. Due to that mix-up, Spicely got a second fight with the promotion, but it wasn’t an easy one; he was matched up against Thiago Santos in Santos’ home country of Brazil.

Santos entered the fight as an 8-1 favorite, but three minutes into Round 1, Spicely locked in a rear-naked choke for a “Performance of the Night” winning submission. Spicely followed up with a first-round triangle-choke submission over Alessio Di Chirico.

Spicely (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) returns to Brazil, facing fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Antonio Carlos Junior (7-2-1 MMA, 4-2-1 UFC), who is also unbeaten in his last two outings.

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9. Don’t do that again

If Johnny Eduardo approaches his bantamweight matchup against Matthew Lopez the same way he fought his last bout against a wrestler, this could be a showcase for Lopez.

In December 2015, Eduardo was too respectful of the wrestling of Aljamain Sterling, and that left him relying mostly on counterstrikes. That was a bad game plan. Eduardo landed just four significant strikes and was taken down twice before submitting to a guillotine choke.

Lopez is a more aggressive striker than Sterling, but if he gets in trouble, he can rely on his wrestling, something he did in his last fight while racking up five takedowns on his way to a decision over Mitch Gagnon.

The trick for Eduardo (28-10, 3-2 UFC), who is coming off a second-round TKO win over Manny Gamburyan, is to catch Lopez (9-1, 1-1 UFC) before he decides to wrestle – a possibility since Lopez is sometimes reckless with his striking.

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10. Obstacles removed

Things were stacked against Viviane Pereira heading into her UFC debut. She was fighting on short notice. She was competing against a more experienced opponent who had recently fought for a UFC title. Pereira also gave up a significant amount of height and reach.

Despite those obstacles, Pereira managed to eke out a split-decision victory over Valerie Letourneau at UFC 206. The win launched Pereira right into the strawweight rankings, where she is currently No. 14.

Pereira gets a full camp and a fight on home soil when she meets Jamie Moyle at UFC 212. Moyle is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Kailin Curran.

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For more on UFC 212, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie