Claudia Gadelha will make her UFC debut on July 16. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
While Season 20 of “The Ultimate Fighter” will crown the UFC’s first-ever strawweight division sometime near the end of the year, fight fans will not have to wait nearly that long to see the 115-pound division debut in the Octagon.
Claudia Gadelha and Tina Lahdemaki will square off in the UFC's first women’s strawweight bout at the promotion’s July 16 Fight Night Card in Atlantic City, N.J. Fox Sports initially reported news of the matchup.
UFC Fight Night “Cerrone vs. Miller” takes place at the Revel Casino Hotel and is headlined by a lightweight clash between Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller. The evening’s main card will air on Fox Sports 1.
The 25-year-old Gadelha was set to challenge for the Invicta FC strawweight crown in December until illness forced her to withdraw from a showdown with champion Carla Esparza. The Brazilian was originally expected to be part of the “TUF 20” cast but ultimately opted against competing on the reality show. “Claudinha” is unbeaten in 11 professional appearances, including a third-round stoppage of Ayaka Hamasaki in her most recent outing at Invicta FC 6.
Lahdemaki, meanwhile, is 5-0 during her professional tenure. The Finnish fighter went 3-0 in 2013, most recently tapping out Karla Benitez via arm-triangle choke this past November.