Mixed martial arts fans will get a glimpse of the UFC’s women’s strawweight division before the season premiere of “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Pettis vs. Team Melendez” as Claudia Gadelha and Tina “Jelly Bean” Lahdemaki will be the first pair of 115-pound fighters to compete in the octagon.
UFC officials announced that Gadelha and Lahdemaki have verbally agreed to face off at UFC Fight Night 45, July 16.
This should be a good bout as both fighters are undefeated. Gadelha comes in with an 11-0 record. She was signed by the UFC after the promotion announced it would be adding a women’s strawweight division back in December 2013. She was set to appear on “TUF 20,” which will feature an entire cast of women’s strawweights, but withdrew from the show because she was unsure she could make the weight cut in time.
Prior to signing with the UFC, the Brazilian competed in several promotions, including Invicta Fighting Championships. She defeated former Jewels champion Ayaka Hamasaki at Invicta FC 6, back in July 2013, to earn a title shot against Invicta FC title holder Carla Esparza, however Gadelha had to back out the day of the fight due to illness.
As for the Jelly Bean, she is 5-0 in her professional career and enjoyed a short, though successful amateur run. Her last fight was against WMMA veteran Karla Benitez in November 2013.
If Gadelha and Lahdemanki put on a good show, it would give fans something look forward to when the rest of the women’s strawweights step into the octagon.
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