(Gadelha and her teammate Renan Barao, just chillin’ in the bathroom. / Props: PortalMMA.com.br)
Two months before the strawweight season of The Ultimate Fighter debuts on FOX Sports 1 on September 10th, UFC fans will get their first glimpse of the promotion’s new 115-pound female division when Claudia Gadelha (11-0) faces Tina Lahdemaki (5-0) at UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller, July 16th in Atlantic City. The booking was first reported by FOX Sports.
Gadelha should be a familiar name for followers of Invicta FC, as the Brazilian Nova Uniao product TKO’d Ayaka Hamasaki at Invicta FC 6 last July, and was supposed to challenge Carla Esparza for Invicta’s strawweight title in December, until a bout of gastroenteritis bumped her out the night before the event. Gadelha was offered a spot in the TUF 20 cast, but turned it down due to concerns over making weight repeatedly in a short period of time. She is apparently the youngest BJJ black belt in Nova Uniao history.
Lahdemaki is from Finland, and has primarily competed at 125 pounds in the past, most recently choking out Karla Benitez at Cage 24 last November in her home country. We don’t know much else about her, but sure, she’s UFC-caliber, why not.