Former UFC strawweight title challenger, Cláudia Gadelha has been forced to withdraw from her UFC 253 pairing with Yan Xiaonan, after suffering an MCL injury. The Brazilian contender is currently travelling to Las Vegas, Nevada to the UFC Performance Institute where she will have the injury diagnosed and assessed further.
Gadelha was scheduled to make her second Octagon appearance of the year, following a close decision win over former Invicta FC strawweight champion, Angela Hill at UFC Fight Night Jacksonville in May. Prior to her win over Hill, the #6 ranked Gadelha scored a unanimous decision victory over Randa Markos at UFC 239 last July.
In need of a short-notice replacement for the September 26th. event – Xiaonan improved to 5-0 under the UFC’s banner last time out, scoring a dominant unanimous judging win over former title challenger, Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC Fight Night Auckland in February. News of Gadelha’s knee injury was initially penned by Combate reporter, Raphael Marinho.
In July of 2016 – Gadelha challenged then 115-pound best, Joanna Jędrzejczyk for the undisputed title, dropping a unanimous decision following a close first matchup between the two back in December of 2014. After the challenge defeat, the 31-year-old Rio Grande do Notre native has managed victories over common foe, Kowalkiewicz, Cortney Casey, and inaugural UFC and Invicta FC strawweight best, Carla ‘Cookie Monster’ Esparza.
Chinese knockout artist, Xiaonan has yet to score a stoppage win in the UFC since her UFC Fight Night Shanghai debut back in November 2017. Securing five consecutive triumphs, Xiaonan took wins over Kailin Curran, Viviane Pereira, Syuri Kondo, as well as common opponent, Hill to go along with her victory over Kowalkiewicz earlier this annum.