Monday, December 2, 2013

Claudia Gadelha Interview

Due to the audio not being the best, here is a transcript of my interview with Claudia Gadelha in advance of her Invicta title fight with Carla Esparza.

Q: First, for people who may not be familiar, can you talk about how you got started training for the sport?
A: I am from a little town here in Brazil. I didn't have much to do and was very bad, a very bad kid. The coach for Nova Uniao showed me Jiu-Jitsu when I was fifteen years old. That changed my life. The gym is the same gym for Renan Barao, Jussier Formiga, Jose Aldo, guys from the UFC. From the beginning I had champions around me and it made me love the sport.

Q: Your last fight, you beat Ayaka Hamasaki, how happy were you with that fight?
A: Since I started in martial arts, my dream was to be champion. I always had that in my mind, that I wanna be a champion. I moved to Rio De Janeiro where I was far from my family and friends. I moved here to train with the best team in the world. I moved to train with them and be a champion. Fighting on a big show always was my goal. Fighting in the Invicta cage was a dream come true for me. Hamasaki is one of the best fighters in the division and meant so much to me to fight her. People expect so much from me here in Brazil and I have to give me best and that is what I did.

Q: Was it important to you to look good in order to make a big name in North America?
A: Yes! I always think that I wanna do more. I don't think I have a limit to my dreams and goals and always want more in my life.

Q: You are fighting Carla Esparza. You were supposed to fighter her earlier but got injured. Since you are fighting her anyway, was it kind of a good thing that you got injured and can prepare for her more?
A: Yeah, I think everything is in God's time. When I was getting ready, it was very hard for me, I really wanted that fight, I really wanted to fight her. I think it was a good thing because I have more training and have a title shot again. I think it made me more prepared for the fight, to show more work and be more professional. God knows everything. If he did that, it was because something was supposed to happen.

Q: Your specialty is BJJ and hers is wrestling, so do you expect most of this fight to be on the ground?
A: I will be ready for anything. I am a Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt for sure, I will feel more welcome on the ground, but I do so much boxing and wrestling and will be prepared for anything. I am sure she will bring a lot of wrestling and from what I read, she wants to stand up with me. I have a very good stand-up game as well and am ready for anything. I will bring everything strong and hard and see what happens.

Q: You are always in great condition so if it goes all five rounds, I assume you are feeling good about your cardio?
A: Yeah, my cardio is insane right now. When Is tarted camp I realized I have to put in eight weeks of hard work and do my best. I made my cardio better than ever. I am ready to not get tired, to go more than five rounds and bring you guys a really really good fight.

Q: With her being a wrestler, if it goes down she will wanna be on top but with your submissions I assume you would be comfortable on your back?
A: Yeah, I have no problem being on my back. I will do my best and I don't think she will take me down, but if she does, I will get up.

Q: Are there any previous opponents you would compare her to?
A: Not Really. Maybe one that had a better ground game than her is a girl from Brazil named Davina Maciel. I fought her a long time ago but she stopped fighting MMA and does only Jiu-Jitsu now. That was my fourth fight and I submitted her with an armbar with my back on that mat. That was the hardest ground game girl that I fought.

Q: When will you leave Brazil to come here?
A: Monday morning.

Q: Does the long travel affect how you do your weight cut?
A: No! I start to loose weight ten days before the fight. I lose over two pounds every day. I loose a lot of weight to make 115. Everything is on schedule. That does not bother me. I have no problem with that.

Q: Do you have a prediction on how this fight will end?
A: I don't wanna predict, I just wanna say one thing. I don't wanna fight five rounds. I am going to fight like going to war. I don't wanna fight five rounds.

Q: I have two questions that people asked me to ask you. The first one is, outside of BJJ and MMA, what do you like to do for fun?
A: I am so busy because I am student also. I don't really have time for a lot of things. With all the training and studying, I don't have time to do things. Sometimes I have time to go to the beach, to walk around and look at the beautiful place.

Q: The other question is, for people here, are there any female fighters in Brazil that we may not know, that we should keep an eye on?
A: Yeah for sure. MMA is getting big here now. A lot of girls here are getting interested in being a professional fighter. We have a lot of good talent here that will be good fighters in the future.

Q: Is there anyone you want to thank?
A: I want to thank God for life and being healthy to do what I love. My team Nova Uniao and my coach and all my sponsors that help me.

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