A UFC Strawweight bout in Japan could have major implications for another division after Friday night.
Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade locked horn in a 115-pound fight that many considered "the people's main event" after the UFC booked Yushin Okami to replace an injured Shogun Rua in the evening's actual main event. The two ladies didn't disappoint, putting forth an insane effort, sweating, bleeding and leaving it all in the cage along the way. In all, it was a fight of the year candidate.
An early striking advantage by Claudia Gadelha turned into a major grappling and ground and pound advantage from Andrade. Gadelha would occasionally threaten with submissions and strikes, but was smothered for most of the fight. In the end, #4 ranked Andrade took home the unanimous decision victory over #1 Gadelha.
You can see an excerpt of our Fightful.com live coverage below:
Round Three: The round begins with Andrade and Gadelha just swinging away at each other, Andrade holds Gadelha against the cage wall while landing strikes. Andrade scores a takedown on Gadelha and she gets side control, Andrade starts attacking Gadelha with some ground and pound. Andrade transitions to the half guard on Gadelha while landing more strikes, Gadelha eats more strikes as she traps Andrade in her full guard. Andrade briefly postures up and swings wildly against the downed Gadelha, Andrade transitions to the side control position on Gadelha. Gadelha tries getting up and Andrade attacks her with knee strikes, Gadelha scrambles to her feet as Andrade assaults her with strikes. Andrade scores another takedown on Gadelha as the round ends.
Fightful scores the round 10-8 for Andrade (Final Score: 29-27 for Andrade)
Official Result: #4 Jessica Andrade def. #1 Claudia Gadelha by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27)
The fight is particularly important to not only Strawweight, but Flyweight. Andrade formerly competed at 135-pounds, and could make the weight easily. Joanna Jedrzejczyk has defeated both women at 115, but said this week she's at least two fights away from entertaining a move to 125 pounds. With the first women's flyweight champion in the UFC being determined in December, Andrade could be primed for a shot.
You can see our full coverage of UFC Fight Night Japan at this link.