Claudia Gadelha finally fought her longtime rival Carla Esparza after two cancelled fights in their Invicta FC days, but she was almost forced out of the fight again.
Gadelha, who pulled out of fights with Esparza a couple of times in 2013, defeated Esparza via split decision at UFC 225 in Chicago, and revealed on her social media that she strained a ligament knee on less than two weeks before the bout.
“I didn’t want to pull out of the fight, but on Monday of last week I strained a ligament knee and the posterior thigh muscle and went there to fight for you,” Gadelha wrote. “Now I’ll take care and come back stronger.”
Moments after the fight, Gadelha wrote on her Instagram stories that “I blew my knee in the first round” and was at the hospital, hoping everything would be fine.
The Brazilian strawweight bounced back to the winning column with the split decision over Esparza in Chicago, improving to 5-3 under the UFC banner.