Jessica Aguilar treating UFC 190 debut against Claudia Gadelha as a No. 1 contender bout

Following Joanna Jedrzejczyk's brutal beatdown of Jessica Penne in the main event of last weekend's UFC Berlin show, few expected any of the current…

By: Karim Zidan | 8 years ago
Jessica Aguilar treating UFC 190 debut against Claudia Gadelha as a No. 1 contender bout
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Following Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s brutal beatdown of Jessica Penne in the main event of last weekend’s UFC Berlin show, few expected any of the current roster of strawweight to clamor for a shot at the Polish champion. However, another former champion, one yet to make her official UFC debut, is patiently waiting for her opportunity to pounce.

Former World Series of Fighting champion Jessica Aguilar, who was once considered the consensus No. 1 competitor at strawweight, is scheduled to make her long awaited debut in the promotion against Claudia Gadelha. Considering the Brazilian gave Jedzejczyk her toughest fight to date, Aguilar believes the winner of their UFC 190 bout should be considered the No. 1 contender.

“They have not [told me that], but things can happen,” Aguilar told’s Ariel Helwani. “They said it can happen if I go out there and do what I need to do and show my skills and then it might happen. But I’m looking at this fight for now, this is my championship fight. I am training like I’m fighting for the title. So, this is the fight I’m looking at right now.”

Aguilar has already experienced Gadhela’s sheer strength when she lost to her in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament several years ago. Having studied her over the past few months, Aguilar is excited to test her skills against the Brazilian in MMA.

“I already competed against her in Brazilian jiu-jitsu when I was a blue belt, it was a couple of years back in Texas,” she said. “It was an open class. She was like 145 pounds at the time, she was a brown belt, and I lost by advantage. But I’ve been watching her for a while now, and I know that she’s very talented. Based upon her fight with Joanna, I know that she has a lot of skills. It’s going to be an exciting match-up, and I’m just pumped to fight in front of those great fans.

“I am really excited about UFC 190, and I can’t wait to show the fans on this platform who Jessica ‘Jag’ is.”

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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