Friday, March 21, 2014

Is Nova Uniao trying to get Claudia Gadelha out of TUF20?

Someone mentioned this to me last night and it reminded me to look into something I saw on my Twitter feed yesterday. Marcelo Barone of the Brazilian MMA publication TATAME reported yesterday that Nova Uniao is trying to negotiate to get Claudia Gadelha out of The Ultimate Fighter 20 and into a direct deal with the UFC. Claudia has said on Twitter that she has no knowledge of this but that doesn't mean that Nova Uniao isn't trying to do it. There will be 16 Strawweight fighters on TUF20. There are 11 fighters under UFC contract and five additional fighters will be cast after Apr. 28 tryouts. The winner of TUF20 will be the inaugural UFC Women's Strawweight Champion. So if a title is up for grabs, why would Claudia try to get out of TUF? Actually, I don't think she would. But I wouldn't put it past Nova Uniao to try to get her out of it. I have covered Claudia's entire career and there were always accusations in Brazil that Nova Uniao was protecting her and cherry picking opponents. They might think that TUF is too much of a crapshoot and if Claudia loses, she goes to the back of the line. Their argument might be that Claudia was the number one contender in Invicta and should retain that status regardless. But TUF precludes that. I doubt their argument would work on UFC president Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby. But what about Claudia's English? Her English is fine and she has already appeared in the 2013 reality show Fight Xchange which aired in Canada on SuperChannel. I don't know if it aired elsewhere. If Invicta Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza has to go through TUF20, Claudia has to do it too. Of course Nova Uniao might have been complaining that Carla was paid more than the other fighters. So I don't see this going anywhere.

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