In the evening’s co-headliner at 115 pounds, longtime strawweight division staples, Claudia Gadelha and Angela Hill, would collide in what can be characterized as a must-win type of outing for each fighter respectively. The ‘must-win’ type of moniker though, can come as a result of differing factors and variations surrounding both girls.
Gadelha, having been a member of this division, basically since it’s inception, has come close in her own right to tasting UFC gold. A loss for Gadelha in this spot, would be a devastating blow to her hopes of getting back to another title shot any time soon. As for Hill, the obvious is apparent. Hill, while on a tear matching her level of overall activity, has not seen her name amongst the top 15 for some time. A win here, would go a long way in making that a reality once again, and could possibly even vault her into the top 5.
In the first of a possible three, Gadelha established distance as she began to analyze the movement of the free-flowing kickboxing style of Hill. Gadelha would put together a very solid opening five minutes, winning in both the striking and the grappling exchanges for nearly the entirety of the round. Gadelha would get Hill to the mat in the latter stages, but with not enough time on her side to do anything with it.
Hill began to impose her will for round two, really putting good use to her hooks… her left hooks in particular. Hill parlayed her success from a kickboxing perspective, with a knockdown of Gadelha that completely changed the feel surrounding the fight. Hill, even after allowing Gadelha back to her feet, continued to chip away at the former title challenger and made a very strong case for the fight to be tied at one round a piece– heading into the final frame.
The two ladies in focus would really let it start to fly in the final round. A competitive, back-and-forth/ glorified kickboxing match in MMA gloves would begin to take place in the round. Gadelha was effective with hooks, as well as her straight right and relentless volume behind her leg kicks. Hill, was really putting forth her kicking ability and aiming for the body as the primary target. Just a solid, super competitive round to cap off a fifteen minute slugfest that saw the two 115 pounders throw over a combined 400 total strikes in fifteen minutes.