Jiu-Jitsu black belt Claudia Gadelha with MMA return in Canadian reality show

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Claudinha Gadelha with André Pederneiras, Dudu Dantas and Marlon Sandro / Publicity photo

Claudia Gadelha, one of the most promising up-and-coming female fighters in Brazil’s MMA scene, is back. The Jiu-Jitsu black belt spent a prolonged period away from the ring due to venous insufficiency, but now she’s preparing for her return in grand style: Gadelha will be taking part in Canadian reality show Exchange.

“It’s actually pretty much a documentary,” she explains. “It’s an exchange, with Canadian fighters coming here, and us Brazilians going there, with everyone confined in a house. They want to show what life is like for fighters in the lead-up to a fight, because what we normally see is just the fighter entering the ring and throwing down.

“They want to show what fighters think, how they live, what they do two weeks before the fight, how their behavior changes. That’s what they want to show. And three Brazilian athletes getting involved with three Canadian athletes can cause some confusion,” added the Nova União athlete, who derived some lessons from her time on ice.


It was a really rough patch in my life; I didn’t know if I’d ever be back. All alone in Rio de Janeiro, with my only goal being to fight, I didn’t know if there was a future for me here or not. It was a time that made me learn a lot. Now I’ve persevered, and I feel like I’m better equipped for whatever is to come,” she said.

With six fights and six wins, the undefeated fighter will take on Juliana Peña, whose record is identical to the Brazilian’s. “I’m training a lot both standing and on the ground, not to mention doing physical conditioning, which is essential these days,” said Claudinha, who finished four of her six MMA wins with armbars.

“The armbar is one of the positions I’ve trained most in my life. It’s my position.”

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