UFC women’s strawweight contender Carla Esparza wants a rematch with champion Rose Namajunas with a win over Yan Xiaonan at UFC Vegas 27.
Esparza meets Xiaonan in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 27 this Saturday night. Esparza is the No. 4 ranked women’s strawweight while Xiaonan is ranked No. 3, so the winner of this fight will put themselves in a tremendous position to challenge Namajunas, who recently beat No. 1 ranked contender Weili Zhang at UFC 262 to win the 115lbs belt.
Speaking to UFC.com ahead of this Saturday’s co-main event, Esparza said that she is hoping a win over Xioanan earns her a title shot against Namajunas. Remember, Esparza initially beat Namajunas at the TUF 20 Finale to become the first-ever UFC women’s strawweight champion. Seven years later and Esparza is hoping to fight Namajunas again.
“A win here puts me in the number one contender spot, for sure. I beat [Namajunas] the first time, I finished her. She has evolved a lot over the years, and I’ve evolved a lot over the years, so I think we are both very different fighters, but I obviously think I’d have the advantage in that fight. She’s never lost a rematch, though, so that’s an interesting fight,” Esparza said.
Esparza (17-6) has won her last four fights over Marina Rodriguez, Michelle Waterson, Alexa Grasso, and Virna Jandiroba as she has re-emerged as a legitimate title contender at 115lbs. Esparza has strong wrestling skills which makes her a threat to beat anyone in the division. With four straight wins, she rides into this matchup with Xiaonan with plenty of momentum. The winner of this fight seems very likely to earn the next title shot at 115lbs, especially with past contender Tatiana Suarez recently announcing her move up to 125lbs.
Do you think Carla Esparza will beat Yan Xiaonan at UFC Vegas 27 and earn the title shot against Rose Namajunas?