Dana White not ready to give Carla Esparza a title shot following UFC 268: “We have an option”

By Christopher Taylor - November 7, 2021

Dana White is not ready to proclaim Carla Esparza as the next strawweight title challenger, this despite Rose Namajunas’ win at UFC 268.

TUF 20 finale

Esparza (18-6 MMA), the promotions former strawweight champion, is currently on a five-fight winning streak and seemingly has the best case for a title shot when compared to any of the other divisions contenders.

After the ‘Cookie Monster’ stopped Yan Xiaonan in the first round of her most recent Octagon appearance this past May, many fans and analysts expected her to receive the next title shot against Rose Namajunas.

Carla Esparza and ‘Thug Rose’ of course have a history, with the Californian submitting Namajunas back in 2014 to become the UFC’s inaugural strawweight world champion.


Despite their storied past, Dana White and company decided to pit Rose Namajunas in a immediate rematch against Zhang Weili. That bout took place yesterday evening at UFC 268, and once again it was ‘Thug’ who left with her hand raised.

Following the fight Namajunas expressed her interest in having a rematch with Esparza (see that here). However, according the UFC President Dana White, Carla may still have work to do.

“We have an option,” White said at the UFC 268 post-fight presser when asked if Esparza should wait for a title shot (h/t MMAFighting). “You don’t sit around and wait for fights, it’s a really bad idea.”

When asked if that “other option” could be a trilogy fight with Zhang Weili, Dana White responded with the following.

“Awesome fight, those two put on a hell of a performance,” White said. “(Weili) just lost a fight. She’s pretty far.”

The other option Dana White is speaking of could be Marina Rodriguez (15-1-2 MMA). The Brazilian is currently ranked number four and is coming off an impressive victory over Mackenzie Dern.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Carla Esparza Dana White Rose Namajunas UFC UFC 268