Fighting at home with a title shot likely on the line, Claudia Gadelha bloodied Octagon newcomer Jessica Aguilar to earn a unanimous decision victory to kick off the UFC 190 main card on Saturday night.
Gadelha knew going into the night that with a win she would likely earn her first shot at a UFC title, and when it was over there was little doubt that she was the new no. 1 contender.
Gadelha opened up with a ton of confidence in her hands, blasting Aguilar with huge combinations throughout the first round. The Brazilian cracked Aguilar with a pair of knees as well before grabbing a takedown late in the opening stanza as she slammed the UFC newcomer to the mat.
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As the second round started, Aguilar struggled to stop Gadelha's power once again while her nose started dripping blood like a faucet.
Gadelha continued her assault throughout the second round with a series of nasty uppercuts followed by straight punches that just battered Aguilar in every exchange.
Down two rounds, Aguilar's corner urged her to go for the finish in the final five minutes and the American Top Team fighter tried valiantly to put together some offense, but she just couldn't do enough to really hurt Gadelha.
When it was all over, Gadelha got the nod by unanimous decision with the judges returning scores of 30-27 across the board.
"Dana White make my title shot!" Gadelha said after her win. "I am the best strawweight in the world and I'm going to prove that! I'm here to kick ass!"
Gadelha also sent a message to strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who she lost to by a very close split decision in her second fight in the UFC last year. It appears Jedrzejczyk vs. Gadelha 2 is on deck.
"This fight has to happen," Gadelha said. "Joanna, I hope you are training hard because I am also. I'll be here, ready for you, whenever you want."