Carla Esparza News


UFC 281 Results: Weili Zhang stops Carla Esparza in Round 2 (Video)

Chris Taylor - November 12, 2022

Tonight’s UFC 281 event is co-headlined by a women’s strawweight title fight featuring Carla Esparza taking on Weili Zhang. Esparza (19-7 MMA) recaptured the 115lbs title at May’s UFC 274 event, scoring a split-decision win over Rose Namajunas. That victory served as ‘The Cookie Monster’s’ sixth in a row, a streak which has seen her defeat the likes of Yan Xiaonan, Marina Rodriguez, Michelle Waterson and Alexa Grasso.

Israel Adesanya, Alex Pereira, UFC, UFC 281, Adesanya vs. Pereira, Live Results
Carla Esparza

UFC 281: 'Adesanya vs. Pereira' Live Results and Highlights

Chris Taylor - November 12, 2022

The Octagon returns to New York for tonight’s UFC 281 event, a fourteen-bout fight card headlined by Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira. Adesanya (23-1 MMA) and Pereira (6-1 MMA) of course have a history, with ‘Poatan’ having defeated ‘Stylebender’ on two occasions in the Glory kickboxing ring.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Joanna Jedrzejczyk comes to Carla Esparza's defense after fans booed her at UFC 281 presser: "She deserves respect"

Josh Evanoff - November 11, 2022

Joanna Jedrzejczyk has come to the defense of UFC women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza. ‘Cookie Monster’ is set to return to action this Saturday at UFC 281 against Weili Zhang. ‘Magnum’ is fresh off her knockout win over the former Polish champion in June. Heading into the title fight this Saturday, Zhang is a massive betting favorite.

Carla Esparza, Zhang Weili
Exclusive MMA Interviews

UFC 281 | Pro fighters make their picks for Carla Esparza vs. Zhang Weili title fight

Cole Shelton - November 10, 2022

In the co-main event of UFC 281, the strawweight title is on the line as Carla Esparza looks to defend her belt for the first time as she takes on Zhang Weili. Heading into the fight, Esparza is a +285 underdog while the challenger is a massive -400 favorite on FanDuel. Ahead of the fight, reached out to several pro-fighters to get their prediction for the scrap. The pros expect Weili to reclaim her strawweight title and even some expect her to finish Esparza.


Carla Esparza relishing in underdog role ahead of UFC 281 title defense against Weili Zhang: "It’s always great to win, but to silence all the doubters"

Josh Evanoff - November 8, 2022

UFC women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza is happy to be the underdog this weekend. ‘Cookie Monster’ is set to return for the first time since her controversial win over Rose Namajunas in May. While their first outing eight years prior was a dominant win for Esparza, the second encounter wasn’t.

Rose Namajunas

Rose Namajunas hopes for trilogy with Carla Esparza, but admits there isn't much fan interest: "I don’t know if I’d want to subject the fans to that"

Josh Evanoff - November 3, 2022

Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is back on the hunt for gold. ‘Thug Rose’ has been out of action since her rematch with Carla Esparza in May. Their first encounter eight years prior was one-sided traffic. Esparza dominated and won by submission to become the first UFC women’s strawweight champion.


Weili Zhang prepared to fight fearlessly against Carla Esparaza at UFC 281: "I don't care about win or lose anymore"

Josh Evanoff - August 30, 2022

UFC women’s strawweight contender Weili Zhang is prepared for her fight with Carla Esparza. ‘Magnum’ has been out of action since June. At UFC 275, Zhang faced Joanna Jędrzejczyk in a rematch of their famous brawl in March 2020. In that outing, the Chinese fighter won by split decision after five rounds of pure chaos.


Fight fans react after Carla Esparza books first title defense opposite Weili Zhang: “Well, that reign didn’t last long”

Harry Kettle - August 19, 2022

Fight fans have reacted to the news that Carla Esparza will defend the UFC strawweight championship against Weili Zhang. Ever since her controversial win over Rose Namajunas earlier this year, fans have been wondering what the next step is going to be for Carla Esparza. The veteran, who was the first ever champion in the weight class, is a legend in the strawweight division and is now a two-time champ as a result of her second triumph against ‘Thug Rose’.

Jessica Andrade, Amanda Lemos, UFC Vegas 52
Jessica Andrade

Jessica Andrade claims UFC champion Carla Esparza blocked her on social media after she requested a fight

Harry Kettle - July 14, 2022

Jessica Andrade has claimed Carla Esparza blocked her on social media after she asked to fight her for the title. While she may be moving back up to flyweight for a showdown with Manon Fiorot at UFC Paris, Jessica Andrade still very much has her eyes on the prize at strawweight – the division in which she won her first world title in the UFC.


Carla Esparza gives injury update, confirms she'll fight by end of 2022

Josh Evanoff - July 8, 2022

UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza will be in the octagon by the end of the year. ‘Cookie Monster’ faced off against Rose Namajunas at UFC 274 in May. It was a rematch of their showdown in December 2014, where Esparza won via submission. At UFC 274, the latter moved to 2-0 in the series, as she defeated ‘Thug Rose’ by a split decision.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Carla Esparza not surprised by Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s retirement, says she “would’ve loved” a rematch

Harry Kettle - June 29, 2022

UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza has admitted she would’ve liked the chance to have a rematch against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. While the way in which Carla Esparza became a two-time UFC champion was somewhat strange, there was nothing odd about how she submitted Rose Namajunas in 2014 to win the gold the first time around. Alas, her joy didn’t last long as just three months later, she was beaten by Joanna Jedrzejczyk as the Polish sensation went on to become one of the all-time greats in the division.


Carla Esparza discusses possible superfight with Valentina Shevchenko: "That would be scary"

Josh Evanoff - June 21, 2022

UFC women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza isn’t very interested in fighting fellow titleholder Valentina Shevchenko. ‘Cookie Monster’ is fresh off her title-winning performance against Rose Namajunas last month. The victory saw her claim the 115-pound championship for the second time. However, the win over ‘Thug Rose’ was also labeled as one of the worst fights in UFC history.

Carla Esparza, UFC

Carla Esparza rejects the idea of fighting Weili Zhang at UFC 281: “She needs to go on my timeline”

Susan Cox - June 14, 2022

Carla Esparza is rejecting the idea of fighting Weili Zhang at UFC 281. UFC 281 is scheduled for Saturday October 22nd at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Weili Zhang, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, UFC 275
Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Joanna Jedrzejczyk shares her prediction for Carla Esparza vs. Weili Zhang

Harry Kettle - June 13, 2022

Joanna Jedrzejczyk has given her thoughts on what will happen when Weili Zhang challenges Carla Esparza for the UFC strawweight title. Last Saturday night at UFC 275, Joanna Jedrzejczyk retired from mixed martial arts following her knockout defeat at the hands of Weili Zhang. The two put on a thoroughly entertaining rematch in Singapore and while Jedrzejczyk had a few nice moments, the evening belonged to Zhang as a spinning back fist was enough to put a definitive end to their rivalry.

Zhang Weili

Zhang Weili explains her idea for a UFC Strawweight Title fight against Carla Esparza

Fernando Quiles - June 12, 2022

Zhang Weili has an interesting idea for a UFC Strawweight Title fight against champion Carla Esparza. Zhang made it clear that she’s still an elite 115-pounder at UFC 275. She silenced the doubters by knocking Joanna Jedrzejczyk out cold with a spinning backfist in Singapore.

Chael Sonnen, UFC, heavyweight division
Chael Sonnen

Chael Sonnen calls for Carla Esparza vs. Rose Namajunas 3: "We have to redo the match"

Josh Evanoff - May 13, 2022

Chael Sonnen has given an unpopular opinion. ‘The Bad Guy’ thinks the UFC should book a trilogy fight between Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas. Last Saturday night at UFC 274, fans were witness to arguably the worst title fight in MMA history. Eight years after Esparza and Namajunas had an entertaining fight for the inaugural strawweight title, they had a terrible bout.

Henry Cejudo

Henry Cejudo calls 'Namajunas vs. Esparza 2' the worst fight in UFC history: "Rose you just don't deserve a rematch"

Christopher Taylor - May 9, 2022

Henry Cejudo has dubbed last weekend’s Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza rematch as the worst fight in UFC history. Namajunas (11-5 MMA) put her strawweight on the line against Esparza (19-6 MMA) in the co-headliner of last Saturday’s UFC 274 event in Phoenix. The bout served as a rematch as the pair had previously met back in December of 2014, where it was ‘Cookie Monster’ who came out the victor by way of submission to capture the promotions inaugural strawweight world title.

Rose Namajunas

Carla Esparza reacts to commentary criticism during her fight with Rose Namajunas: "They were being real"

Josh Evanoff - May 9, 2022

UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza understood the criticism she received from the broadcast booth. Last Saturday night at UFC 274, ‘Cookie Monster’ faced off against Rose Namajunas. The two had clashed eight years prior, with Esparza picking up the win to become strawweight champion. At UFC 274, she once again picked up the victory, but in a much different fashion.

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