Carla Esparza wants a shot at Rose Namajunas' strawweight belt
As the inaugural UFC strawweight champ, Carla Esparza is ready to win her belt back. She wants a title shot against current champ, ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas. The champ just retained her title in a split decision win against Zhang Weili.
After beating Zhang two times, Thug Rose will have to face new competition. The strawweight division is filled with good fighters like Carla, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Mackenzie Dern. Esparza wants to be the next woman up. They have fought each other once in the past, way back in 2014 in The Ultimate Fighter 20 finale. Carla ended up winning via rear-naked choke which is Rose’s noted weakness.
That win was the biggest victory in Carla’s career since it was for the strawweight belt. In the past seven years, Thug Rose has become a much better fighter. She is not just a fresh-faced fighter anymore because she is now a successful MMA veteran as evidenced by her two reigns as strawweight champ.
After the second fight between Rose and Zhang, Carla took to social media where she congratulated the champ. Of course, some people took it as a malicious shot but it was a friendly challenge.
Carla said, ‘Congratulations Rose Namajunas on a fantastic victory! Inspiring to so many and I am truly happy for you. Fate had us cross paths when we created this division and I’m proud that seven years later we are both still here at the top of it… This is not a call out or anything disrespectful. This is genuine respect. You deserve time to celebrate and enjoy this accomplishment. It will be an honour to run this back when you are ready’.
It will be fun to see how these two fighters will work in the future. They are still in the top tier of the division and they’re not going away anytime soon. It’s fair to say that these two are on a collision course because they are primed to fight again.
The rematch will be poetic since they were the first two fighters who competed for the belt. With Rose embracing her role as the top dog, she needs to fight the woman who stopped her chances of winning the belt earlier.
Words: Cholo Martin