Skip to main content

Claudia Gadelha vs. man in MMA fight - someone goes to sleep

A young Claudia Gadelha was paired up with multiple, annoying, middle-aged Brazilian TV personalities, on the Jackass-style television show, “Panico na TV.”
Claudia Gadelha vs man in MMA fight - someone goes to sleep

Claudia Gadelha vs man in MMA fight - someone goes to sleep

This story is just one small part of a long effort by to understand what works in martial arts. Check out the free Best of library on:
Martial Arts on The Street
Dojo Storms
Female vs. Male

Former women's strawweight Claudia Gadelha had an amazing career in the UFC, becoming one of the first two women to fight in the 115 lb class, and the first to win. She fought for the UFC title, losing at the TUF 23 Finale vs. defending champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and lost the fight of the night. In that and the next three fights, she won a total of three performance bonuses. She currently works for the UFC doing athlete development in Brazil.

And long before that, she fought a man. Male vs. female fights, if they are of similar size, or if the man is larger, are not simply curiosities. Given the inherent size and strength differences between the sexes, they are a great test of how efficient the technique is. If a woman can beat a man in a fair fight, that's a very strong indication that the method she employs is sound.

On September 20, 2009, Gadelha was in her early 20’s, still working her way up the ranks in her native Brazil with a 2-0 record, when she agreed to fight a man named Bolinha, on the Jackass-style broadcast television show, “Panico na TV.” 

What Happened

When the fight began, Gadelha, who trained out of the extraordinary Nova Uniao gym under Andre Pederneiras alongside the likes of former UFC champions Jose Aldo and Renan Barao, softened up Bolinha with strikes, and then worked for a takedown against the cage.

Dumping him to the mat, Gadelha then quickly moved from side control to full mount, and as Bolinha tried to escape she took his back and sunk in a rear-naked choke.

Realizing he couldn’t escape the submission, Bolinha began frantically tapping on the mat, but Gadelha showed her ruthless side by not letting go until he passed out, barely two minutes into the fight.

Looking to salvage some pride, he agreed to a second fight with Gadelha soon afterward, with blood still trickling from his nose from their previous encounter. The rematch didn’t go any better for him than the first though, with Gadelha quickly latching onto a body lock from behind and bringing him down to the mat again.

From there she blasted him with ground and pound and threatened with another rear-naked choke attempt, though it would eventually be an armbar that produced the finish. Thankfully for the sake of Bolinha’s limb, this time she let go when he tapped ...


However, it wasn't over. The fighter was matched with multiple staff members that were considered annoying, and fighting the young woman was their punishment. Here she fights a middle-aged Brazilian TV personality/comedian named Vesgo. He had a major size advantage, but no previous fight experience.


There was a third bout, Claudia vs Alfinete, but the video does not appear to be public. It is safe to say, however, that it ended in similar fashion.

The Lesson

Bear in mind, the show was not trying to prove or demonstrate anything, beyond that it's good fun to watch annoying guys from work get beat up by a professional fighter. However, the show does offer a real lesson.

The techniques of MMA are so good, they can overcome a major strength and size advantage. Further, the practice typically imparts good conditioning, which is always a factor in unarmed combat. If a female expert in your art has beaten up a man in a competitive situation, you're on the right track. If you are utterly convinced that a female expert in your art could - but it has never happened - you are probably on the wrong track.

Follow Claudia Gadelha on Instrgram and OnlyFans.

Share your thoughts on The StreetGround Forum at