Top Brazilian prospect Claudia Gadelha kept her unblemished record intact tonight in her first fight outside of her home country. Despite late event and opponent changes, Gadelha earned a Split Decision victory over Valérie “Trouble” Létourneau at Wreck MMA: “Road To Glory” in Gatineau, Québec.
Gadelha controlled the bout with takedowns in all three rounds, but her offence became limited as the fight progressed. She rocked Létourneau on the feet in round one and did enough from top position to take the second round on two judges’ scorecards for a close and competitive decision win.
Gadelha (7-0-0) found herself in a fight right away as Létourneau (4-3-0) scored with one of her preferred striking techniques, a head kick, early on. Gadelha stayed composed and managed to take Létourneau down to the ground where she looked to strike from the top. Létourneau worked for an omoplata and the fighters returned to their feet. Létourneau landed knees to the body in a clinch, but Gadelha rocked her with a flurry of punches. She put the pressure on and continued to batter Létourneau with punches until the end of the round.
The Brazilian wasted no time in taking the fight back down to the mat in round two, but Létourneau defended well on the ground and the referee brought the fighters to their feet. Gadelha avoided kicks from Létourneau and took her down again. An omoplata attempt from Létourneau was unsuccessful, but she managed to stand and opened a cut above Gadelha’s eye that began to bleed more heavily as the round progressed. Gadelha scored another takedown before the final bell in a close second stanza.
Round three began with a body kick from Létourneau, but Gadelha took her down. Létourneau kicked Gadelha off and stood up, then flurried with punches and landed another body kick. Gadelha scored a takedown, but was unable to mount any offence from top position and it was Létourneau who was most effective with elbows from the bottom. Létourneau worked for submissions as time ticked down while a fatigued Gadelha appeared content to maintain on top in her guard.
One judge awarded the close fight to Létourneau, while the remaining two sided with Gadelha, who picked up arguably the biggest victory of her career in the process. Tonight’s bout marked only the second time that Gadelha has fought to a decision.
Winner: Claudia Gadelha by Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. She improves to 7-0-0.
Fight notes courtesy of Top MMA News.
(Photo Credit: Upper Brazil)