Many might have not noticed had Nina Ansaroff quietly left MMA after her second consecutive loss in 2016.
But now, two years and four straight wins later, Ansaroff finds herself on the cusp of title-contention.
The 33-year-old from Florida scored a decision victory over former UFC title challenger Claudia Gadelha Saturday night at UFC 231, improving to 4-0 since 2017 and 10-5 overall for her career.
Ansaroff has now bested Gadelha, Randa Markos, former Invicta FC champion Angela Hill and Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger since a 2016 decision defeat to Justine Kish. That loss came on the heels of over a year on the sidelines after a loss to Juliana Lima in her UFC debut.
December could turn out to be one of the best months of the Ansaroff-Amanda Nunes engagement, as Nunes – the reigning bantamweight champion – meets featherweight titleholder Cris Cyborg at the end of the year.
By the time 2019 picks up steam, we could be looking at three UFC titles in the family between the two fighters.
UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega Complete Results
Max Holloway def. Brian Ortega via TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 4 to remain UFC featherweight champion
Valentina Shevchenko def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) to become UFC female flyweight champion
Gunnar Nelson def. Alex Oliveira via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:17 of Round 2
Hakeem Dawodu def. Kyle Bochniak via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
Thiago Santos def. Jimi Manuwa via KO (strike) at :41 of Round 2
Nina Ansaroff def. Claudia Gadelha via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Gilbert Burns def. Olivier Aubin-Mercier via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jessica Eye def. Katlyn Chookagian via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Elias Theodorou def. Eryk Anders via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Brad Katona def. Matthew Lopez via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Dhiego Lima def. Chad Laprise via KO (strike) at 1:37 of Round 1
Carlos Diego Ferreira def. Kyle Nelson via TKO (strikes) at 1:23 of Round 2
Aleksandar Rakic def. Devin Clark via TKO (strikes) at 4:05 of Round 1