Strawweight title contender Claudia Gadelha is putting in the work to make sure she doesn’t struggle cutting weight like she used to.
As new and more restrictive weight cutting regulations are taking hold in the sport, fighters are starting to adjust. The UFC recently announced that athletes must be within 8% of their target weight for fight week check-ins, several days out from the event. That’s a major shift from the classic norms that saw many fighters cutting 10% or more of their body weight on weigh-in day.
To hear Claudia Gadelha tell it, she was shedding as much as 22% of her body weight over the course of her fight camps in preparation for her bouts at 115 lbs. But not anymore, as she recently revealed, during a media scrum, that she’s changed things up and staying much closer to her target fight weight full time now (transcript via MMAFighting):
“I don’t cut much weight anymore,” Gadelha said during a recent media scrum in Brazil. “I learned that by losing much weight, I also lose performance inside the Octagon, so I’m staying lighter now. I learned to eat better, so I live on a diet now. I don’t go out of my diet a day now, not even on the weekends, because I have to be around 126 pounds to cut 13 or 15 pounds before the fight. No more cutting 22, 33 pounds for me.
“I think it’s already tough for a male athlete, and it’s even worse for a female athlete. It’s bad for your performance on fight night, so I’m living on a diet so it doesn’t become an issue n the future.”
Gadleha is currently scheduled to fight Joanna Jedrzejczyk for her crack at that women’s strawweight title at the TUF 23 finale on July 8th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight is a rematch of their 2014 non-title bout in which Jedrzejczyk won a controversial split decision. Following their stint as opposing TUF coaches and their history in the ring, this next fight promises to be a personal battle as much as a sporting contest.