Amid the back and forth banter between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha on a UFC conference call last week, a reporter actually was able to sneak in a question.
It was aimed at Gadelha, the challenger in Friday night’s women’s strawweight title fight in Las Vegas.
“Claudia, why do you have issues, why whenever you get near her does it get so heated?” the reporter asked.
But it was Jedrzejczyk, the champion, who answered.
“Because she knows that she lost the first fight and she’s going to lose our second fight,” Jedrzejczyk said.
And so we have this peek into the lack of niceties displayed between Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha as they headline “The Ultimate Fighter” finale.
There has been a consistent public dislike between these fighters, evident at past media events as well as on the latest season of “TUF” where they coached against one another.
“You could see that I didn’t have problems with my other opponents, even my staredowns are on fire,” said Jedrzejczyk, a native of Poland. “But I shake their hands before the fight and after the fight.And I’m having the problem just with Claudia. So that’s why this fight is going to be really big, because I want to show to all of you that I’m the greatest fighter. I cannot hear Claudia anymore that she won first fight and blah, blah, blah, blah.”
Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha fought Dec. 13, 2014, with Jedrzejczyk winning by split decision, a close fight decided by, ultimately, how one judge scored the second round. The scores were 29-28, 28-29, 29-28, in favor on Jedrzejczyk, and if one of two judges scored the second round for Gadelha instead of Jedrzejczyk, there would have been a different result.
“I watched that first fight too many times and I don’t see how the judges gave the fight to her,” said the Brazilian Gadelha (13-1, 2-1 UFC). “The first round I was dominating and then the last 10 seconds of the first round she knocked me down. Yes, she did, but it was only the last 10 seconds, so if they get the first round for her, it’s OK, but the second and the third and I don’t see at all that she won the fight.
“So that really motivates me — the only loss that I have on my record right now and I want to make sure that I’m going to clear what happened that day.”
Jedrzejczyk (11-0, 5-0) has her own motivation to channel.
“I am going to show and prove to her and all of the people that I’m simply the best and that I clearly won the first fight and this is what’s going to happen,” the champion said. “That’s all.”