The only thing more bizarre than Claudia Gadelha’s decision to throw that soccer kick on Cortney Casey has been the fallout from that odd moment.
Gadelha comprehensively beat Casey over three rounds on home soil at the weekend. She took a unanimous decision victory with all three judges scoring the fight 30-27 in her favour.
However, the Brazilian strawweight star was lucky not to have a point deducted in the third round when she threw an illegal soccer kick while Casey was on the ground. Gadelha put her hands up immediately and the referee stopped the fight while Casey rolled around the mat in pain. She eventually got back to her feet and the fight continued, but there was no point deduction.
During her Octagon interview, Gadelha apologised over the incident. She admitted that throwing the kick was a mistake on her part.
“I have to apologise to her, because I thought she was going to get back up and I wanted to hit her body. I know she loses a lot of weight, so I wanted to hit her body a lot, but she went back down. So I want to apologise to her and all the fans.”
At the post-fight press conference, Gadelha elaborated. She explained that her apology was an admission of guilt for throwing the kick, but she maintained that it didn’t connect with her opponent’s head.
“I don’t think the kick landed, but I was expecting her to get up. She pretended she was going to get up, but she sat back down, so I threw the kick anyway and I shouldn’t. That’s why I said sorry.“
Several people agreed with Gadelha’s assessment including welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA). The COO of the CABMMA even went as far to call Casey’s conduct “wrong and unsportsmanlike,” claiming that she had feigned injury in order to get a point deducted off her opponent.
Tyron Woodley believes that Claudia Gadelha's soccer kick missed Cortney Casey's head and says that Casey deserves an Oscar for her acting.
— Robert Sargent (@MMARising) November 20, 2016
Casey can’t understand why everyone is so mad at her for reacting to the kick the way she did. She hasn’t complained about the outcome of the fight, she didn’t ask for a point deduction or for the contest to be overturned, but people are still targeting her for her reaction to the kick.
As she told MMA Fighting, if she wanted an out, she wouldn’t have told the doctor that she was fit to continue.
“Never in a million years did I think that I’d go into Brazil and get as ridiculed as I did for something where I did nothing wrong. I can only imagine what Ronda [Rousey] goes through — like, the ridicule she goes through on a daily basis. It’s pretty pathetic. People that don’t even follow me going on my page just to say some shit, going out of their way. And I’m not even complaining. I’m not petitioning.”
Casey claims that Gadelha apologised to her multiple times for the kick, which she assumed would eventually result in her publicly stating that it had indeed landed. She did not expect her to change her tune at the post-fight press conference.
“So I went up to her, no hard feelings… and she’s like, ‘I’m really sorry about kicking you in the head.’ And my coaches are around, and everyone is hearing her say this. And as I’m walking down the stairs I was like, I really wish she would just say something, like I did kick her in the head.”
“At the end of the day, I got kicked. I’m not asking for a point deduction, I was never saying that the fight should be overturned, none of that. So I don’t know why everyone is yelling at me, and blaming me, like I’m going out saying all this stuff. I haven’t said anything, other than I got kicked in the head.”
Thanks for all the messages & support. I lost…plain and simple. I will learn from this, make adjustments & move forward. I'm disappointed in my performance but more so that fans would think I would resort to faking a injury when I have proven time & time again I will fight anyone in any circumstance. The shin hit my forehead & the foot hit my bun, Claudia apologized in the fight & multiple times afterwards & that's all I personally need. As far as @twooodley comment I would expect more from a fighter, but who knows maybe this negative will turn into a positive I heard their looking for a new lead in RoadHouse..? I'm excited for the future I now know where I stand in the division & what I need to work on to get to the top. @seanshelby @ufc I appreciate the opportunity to prove myself & most important to all my teammates, coaches at #TheNEST. Mahalos for always pushing me in the right direction, I am proud of myself & over came a lot of obstacles in this camp, I will be back!!! #WMMA #UFC #Maui #NoExcuses #TopTen
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