At UFC on ESPN 8, Gadelha defeated Angela Hill by split decision in a very closely competed fight. After securing the win, Gadelha proceeded to call-out former champion and long-time rival, Esparza for a rematch. The two had earlier locked horns in June 2018 at UFC 225, the fight saw Claudia walk out with a very debatable decision.
Carla Esparza didn't take too long to respond to the callout, accepting the challenge while also calling her out over greasing accusation. It isn't the first time that the "Cookie Monster" is accusing Gadelha of using grease. A few days after her fight, she appeared on MMA Fighting's MMA Hour show and claimed, "Flat out, and this is not an excuse because I lost because 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."
At the post-fight press conference following UFC on ESPN 8, Gadleha was asked to respond to the tweet, and she didn't hold back.
"It’s 2020, the sport is evolving so much, c’mon. I have the commission following me from the time I step into the octagon to the time the fight is finish. How the **** am I going to grease? Carla Esparza, stop with your ****ing excuses, and let’s get back in there again."
By securing a win against Hill at the event, Gadelha is now 3-2 in her last 5 fights. This is the first time she's secured consecutive wins since 2017. Esparza, on the other hand, is on a three-fight winning streak and has gracefully bounced back from a career-low of two consecutive losses which she suffered in 2018.
Overall the fight makes a lot of sense, both are 3-2 in their last five and are coming off very debatable wins against highly touted contenders. In both of those fights, most were outright unhappy with Gadelha taking the decision and a majority section of fans had similar feelings about Esparza's win over Waterson.
The straw-weight division is easily the most exciting division amongst the women weight classes in the UFC if any one of the two fighters wants to get another crack at the title they will have to amass a very significant winning streak. So a rematch would be a step in the right direction for both the stalwarts.Published 18 May 2020, 13:13 IST