Former UFC champion Carla Esparza shoots down retirement rumors: “Just trying to have an intelligent approach to my comeback”

By Harry Kettle - January 30, 2024

Former UFC champion Carla Esparza has responded to rumors suggesting she has retired from mixed martial arts.

Carla Esparza

Throughout the course of her career, Carla Esparza has been through many highs and lows. From winning championships to losing them and beyond, she’s been on quite the journey – especially in the UFC.

In the last few days, however, the veteran has been at the heart of retirement rumors. It came after speculation on social media that she had been removed from the UFC rankings/roster as a whole, prompting some to wonder whether or not she’d walked away from the sport entirely.

RELATED: Rose Namajunas reflects on horrific rematch with Carla Esparza: “One of the most boring fights ever”

Now, Esparza has responded through the following Instagram post.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Carla (@carlaesparza1)

Esparza responds

“I keep receiving messages so I wanted to clear it up,” Esparza wrote. “Maybe I was removed for inactivity. I am slowly biding my time and building my body and pelvic floor back up according to my PT’s recommendation. During the postpartum period there is relaxin and progesterone in the joints and their surrounding structures (especially since I am exclusively breastfeeding) which causes a slackening of the ligaments and can greatly increase the chance of injury during training.

“Just trying to have an intelligent approach to my comeback and do everything in my power to avoid an injury setback.”

Quotes via MMA Junkie

The 36-year-old last competed in November 2022, when she was submitted by Zhang Weili to lose her strawweight crown. Hopefully, we get the chance to see her back in the cage sooner rather than later.

What do you believe should be next for Carla Esparza if she makes her return to the UFC? Does she have what it takes to become a title contender once again, or is that not the case? Let us know, BJPENN Nation!


Carla Esparza UFC