UFC Fight Night is not a good card. The card, which happens from the venerated Saitama Super Arena in Japan and airs Friday night in the United States, lost what meager shine it had when headliner Mauricio "Shogun" Rua withdrew because of—and you better sit down—a knee injury. Now aging grinder Yushin Okami, who wasn't on the UFC roster one day before this call-up, will move up to light heavyweight to face Ovince Saint Preux. Is this card truly a must-watch?
Well, to the surprise of even the biggest fans of Jessica Andrade, the year-old Brazilian destroyed her opponent over the course of three rounds. Andrade usually looks to trap her opponents against the cage before throwing wild hooks, similar to John Lineker.
In the early stages, however, Gadelha was landing clean shots as Andrade was moving in and she was getting the better of the striking exchanges. It would be a theme of the entire fight as both Andrade and Gadelha would have severe cuts open up on their faces. The first round changed in momentum as Andrade picked Gadelha up over her head and slammed her into the canvas.
At the beginning of round two, Gadelha secured a takedown of her own but a scrambly Jessica Andrade got straight back up to her feet. A moment of patience from Gadelha was noticeable, and when Andrade attempted to strike, she shot underneath the punches for another takedown.
When the two returned to their feet, it became an all-out slugfest. Now, Andrade was the more confident fighter of the two and stormed forward towards a tiring Claudia Gadelha who had realized that Andrade is more robot than human.
The round ended with Claudia Gadelha exerting all of her energy into a guillotine attempt.
Look at the exertion!! UFCJapan pic.
As they came out for round three, the two warriors showed a new found respect and hugged it out in the middle of the octagon before proceeding to inflict even more damage on each other.
It was the same story as round two, heavy top pressure and vicious hammer fists. This time, Andrade chose to damage the body of Gadelha and started punching the oblique area of Gadelha repeatedly with force.
Post-fight thoughts There was blood everywhere. There was also some HUGE slams. Her wrestling is phenomenal, and her chin is incredible. She moved forward even through some hard shots from Gadelha but knowingly accepted that she would get hit so that she could land punches of her own and trap her opponent against the cage.
Sadly for Andrade, the only blueprint for beating her is from the current division champion.
She was landing clean combinations on the chin of Andrade as she moved forward. Against anyone else, it may have been enough to put them away.
Gadelha was also seemingly incapable of recovering her guard and scrambling back to her feet. The fatigue issues are still there for Gadelha; and so is an apparent lack of confidence and determination once an opponent gets ahead of her at her own game.