Will change pay off for Brown?

Lo­cal fighter switches gyms; Brazil­ian Gadelha to re­turn

Albuquerque Journal - - SPORTS - BY RICK WRIGHT JOUR­NAL STAFF WRITER

Af­ter three straight losses, Am­ber Brown made a change.

More change, it ap­pears, is com­ing. Brown (6-4), an MMA atom­weight from Al­bu­querque, is sched­uled to face Texan Tessa Simp­son (5-2) tonight on In­victa FC 26 in Kansas City, Mo.

It will be Brown’s first fight af­ter switch­ing from one Al­bu­querque gym, FIT-NHB, to another, Lut­trell-Yee.

“She started with us right af­ter her March fight (a loss by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion to Ash­ley Cum­mins),” coach Ray Yee said Thurs­day in a phone in­ter­view. “... She’s made a huge amount of progress. Def­i­nitely, I think she’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent fighter now.”

One com­pli­ca­tion: Brown weighed in Thurs­day at 106.3 pounds, three­tenths over the al­low­able atom­weight limit, and will for­feit 25 per­cent of her fight purse.

Brown has gained mus­cle mass since mov­ing to Lut­trell-Yee, Yee said, and sim­ply wasn’t able to safely make the atom­weight limit.

“It was a re­ally hard cut,” Yee said. “We started at 4 a.m. (Thurs­day) morn­ing, and we missed the mark by just a lit­tle bit.

“We even cut her hair, lit­er­ally cut her hair. Her body has just changed.”

Brown’s next fight, Yee said, likely will be at the 115-pound strawweight limit.

Tonight’s In­victa card will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass, start­ing at 6 p.m. GADELHA: Last May, Brazil­ian UFC fighter Clau­dia Gadelha an­nounced she was mov­ing to Al­bu­querque in or­der to train full time at Lut­trell-Yee. But af­ter her Sept. 22 loss to Jes­sica An­drade by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion in Ja­pan, she went home to Brazil and has been there ever since.

Not to worry, Yee said.

“We ex­pect her back (in Al­bu­querque) next week,” he said. “She’s com­ing back with her par­ents.”

Af­ter a gru­el­ing 10 months dur­ing which she fought three times, Yee said, Gadelha (15-3) sim­ply needed a break.

“She pretty much went from one (fight) camp, rested a week or two and went back to another train­ing reg­i­men,” he said. “I think it was a good time to­wards the end of the year af­ter a tough fight. We en­cour­aged her to take the rest of the year off.

“... I spoke to her a cou­ple of days ago, and she said, ‘I’ll be home be­fore Christ­mas.’”

Gadelha turned 29 on Thurs­day.

Mean­while, Pablo, Gadelha’s beloved bull ter­rier, has been in the care of fel­low Brazil­ian and Lut­trel­lYee team­mate Fer­nanda Priscila. In­victa FC an­nounced Thurs­day that it has signed Priscila (3-1), an atom­weight, to a con­tract.

SURGERY FOR NICCO: Al­bu­querque’s Nicco Mon­taño, the newly crowned UFC women’s fly­weight cham­pion, told MMA Weekly she’ll need surgery to re­pair a bro­ken sesamoid bone in her left foot.

Mon­taño (4-2), who trains at FITNHB, has said she con­sid­ered pulling out of the Dec. 1 The Ul­ti­mate Fighter 26 fi­nale — which was to de­ter­mine the first-ever fly­weight cham­pion — be­cause of the pain the bro­ken foot was caus­ing and be­cause it had in­ter­fered with her weight cut to the 125-pound limit. But, fight­ing through the pain and mak­ing weight, she de­feated Rox­anne Moda­ferri by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion.

“I need to have surgery,” Mon­tano said. “I def­i­nitely need to get that fixed be­fore any­thing else — the sooner the bet­ter.”

SWAN­SON: UFC feath­er­weight Cub Swan­son (25-7), who trains in Al­bu­querque at Jack­son-Wink, told mma­junkie.com that a vic­tory on Satur­day against Brian Ortega (12-0) on UFC Fight Night Fresno could put him in line for a ti­tle shot against cham­pion Max Hol­loway.

Swan­son is the UFC’s No. 4 chal­lenger, ranked be­hind Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar and Ri­cardo La­mas. Edgar was to have fought Hol­loway for the ti­tle last Satur­day, but pulled out due to an in­jury. Aldo stepped in against Hol­loway and was knocked out in the third round.

Edgar’s mis­for­tune, Swan­son said, could be his ticket to a ti­tle shot.

“I think peo­ple jump peo­ple (in the rank­ings) all the time,” he said.

Satur­day’s card will be tele­vised on Fox Sports 1, start­ing at 6 p.m.

GREG SORBER/JOUR­NAL

Clau­dia Gadelha is ex­pected to re­turn to Al­bu­querque next week to re­sume train­ing full time at the Lut­trell-Yee gym.

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