Carla Esparza would ‘love to hear’ what Dana White means by other option for Rosa Namajunas

Carla Esparza can’t comprehend why a rematch with UFC strawweight champ Rose Namajunas would be a tough sell.

Thinking About not just does Esparza (18-6 MIXED MARTIAL ARTS, 9-4 UFC) hold a submission win over Namajunas in the department’s inaugural title battle in 2014, however she’s formally the No. 2-ranked strawweight with current wins over leading competitors Marina Rodriguez and Yan Xiaonan.

So with UFC president Dana White declaring that there are other choices for Namajunas (11-4 MIXED MARTIAL ARTS, 9-3 UFC), the previous champ disagrees.

“Honestly that’s how I feel, that there’s really not a lot of other options,” Esparza informed mixed martial arts Addict on Tuesday. “I’d love to hear what the UFC or Dana would come for as the next option that they’re kind of talking about. But I personally, as a fan of the division and this sport, I couldn’t really think of any other fight that really makes sense, so we’ll see what they come up with. But in all actuality, I think Rose and I is a fight that makes sense. It’s a fight that she wants, it’s a fight that I want, so hopefully it happens.”

Namajunas is coming off an effective title defense versus Zhang Weili this previous weekend at UFC 268, her 2nd straight win over her. In the post-fight interview, Namajunas stated that rematching Esparza would be the rational next action, however Esparza isn’t sure if that warranties her the title shot.

“I mean, you never know with the UFC. They could always throw out whatever, but like I said, this is the only fight that makes sense,” Esparza stated. “I think I made a statement in my last fight. I think Rose wants the fight. She thinks in her mind, at this current time, that this is the toughest fight for her. She wants to avenge her loss, and there’s nothing but respect between us, but I don’t think that’s gonna stop her from trying to take my head off and get that win.”


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Esparza’s win over Namajunas came 7 years earlier in the Season 20 “Ultimate Fighter” ending. Both have actually grown greatly ever since, however Esparza’s college fumbling background postures a fascinating danger to the champ’s well rounded video game.

When asked if she’s stylistically Namajunas’ worst match, Esparza respectfully acknowledged her development.

“Stylistically, it’s hard to say,” Esparza stated. “I think when we fought the first time, I was a bad matchup for Rose. But it’s been seven years, so a lot of her fights have been contended on the feet, but that’s not to say that she hasn’t been working a lot of things in the back, too, so I’m excited to see after all these years what improvements have come. I think it’s gonna be a much different fight.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.