Exclusive – Aisling Daly eyes “title contention” with win over Gadelha in Poland


Aisling Daly is eyeing “title contention” on the back of today’s UFC announcement confirming her bout with highly touted prospect Claudia Gadelha for UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs Cro Cop II, which is scheduled to take place Saturday April 11.

Fresh off her debut win over Alex Chambers on December 12 in Las Vegas, Daly has welcomed the bout with the Brazilian taking place on European soil. Having missed weight for the first time in her career ahead of the Chambers bout, less travel suits ‘Ais the Bash’ perfectly.

“Really, I was just in the humour of getting a fight and I wasn’t pushed on flying back to America,” admitted the former NAAFS champion. “A fight in Europe suits me a lot better. It does make a difference for the weight.

“Even with the time difference, it’s another thing that you have to get used to over there. You’re not sleeping right and you’re feeling tired when you get closer to the fight, especially in Vegas. This is only a short flight, it’s about two and half hours, it’s great.”

Claudia Gadelha proved herself to be worthy of being in a number one contender bout when she met Polish sensation Joanna Jedrzejczyk last December, fighting the European talent to a decision in a frantically fought affair.

Given the obvious talent of the Nova Uniao product, Daly is confident that the challenge will force the best out of her in the Krakow Arena.

Daly said: “I’m super excited about this matchup because I think she really is a top class opponent. Sometimes I find it hard to motivate myself when I’m put up against lower level competition. If they had of given me someone like Bec (Rawlings) it would’ve been hard to get excited.

“Claudia is a high level opponent. There are four or five of us in that division that are looking at title contention and she’s definitely in the mix. She’s tough, she goes for the finish, but I’ve watched a few of her fights and I know that she gases and I definitely don’t.

“The pressure is going to be on her from the very first bell and if she can’t put up with my pace she’ll be in trouble.”

“I always feel I go a lot harder when I’m put up against top class opponents. It gives me a bigger motivation to train and work harder in the gym. This is what we’re all in the sport for, we want to test ourselves.

“I’ve never wanted to go in and fight a load of cans to pad up my record, I want to fight the best. I got offered this fight and I jumped all over it. A lot of the girls in this division say they want to fight, but honestly, I don’t think they do. They just want to hang around the gym with their friends and wear their UFC t-shirts.”

Daly commented on how interested her teammates are in competing on the Poland card and how she is hopeful that the Irish will come out and support her on the night.

“I know Cathal is one of the guys who is pushing really hard to get a spot on it,” said Daly. “I don’t think Paddy is cleared yet to be back with his ankle so, I don’t think it would suit him. It might though, it’s far enough away and it’s only short way to travel.

“The Irish fans always give us so much support and Ryanair do flights over there, so hopefully there’ll be a bit of support for us on the night.”

Finally, Daly revealed how she is eyeing ‘title contention’ on the back of a win over Gadelha:

“I think a win here would put me in title contention. Claudia fought Joanna, whoever won that was fighting for the belt so I don’t see why a win over Claudia wouldn’t put me in the number one contender spot.

“They are short of people at the top of this bracket, there is no one really left for Carla after Joanna. If Joanna beats her it’s the same thing, so I think victory over Claudia will put me right at the top of the pile. The way I see, I could be going for a UFC belt this year.”


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