Carla Esparza on Rose Namajunas vs Zhang Weili 2: ‘I got next’

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PhotoCred: MMA Fighting (Esther Lin)

Carla Esparza feels she’s done enough to earn a UFC title shot.

Unfortunately for the inaugural strawweight champion, the UFC has gone in a different direction. At UFC 268 on Nov. 6 in Madison Square Garden, Esparza will have to watch the immediate title rematch pitting new two-time champion Rose Namajunas against Zhang Weili in the co-main event.

“I’ve worked many years to fight my way back to a title shot,” Esparza said via an Instagram post. “I have faith good things will come, and in the meantime I will use this time to strength build and skill build! May the best woman win… I got next 😉👊🏽💪🏽”

The 33-year old Carla Esparza is 18-6 in her professional career currently riding a five-fight winning streak. Her most recent of those wins came in May when “The Cookie Monster” took on China’s surging Yan Xiaonan. With a very impressive twelve-fight unbeaten streak of her own — six in the UFC. That all came crashing to a halt against the former champion as Xiaonan suffered a second-round TKO loss.

Esparza entered the UFC in 2014 as part of The Ultimate Fighter season 20. Winning her way to the finals, she’d face off with her fellow Invicta FC alum, Rose Namajunas.

Competing for titles was nothing new for Esparza at that stage as she had already been the Invicta champion as well as gained experience in Bellator. Despite Namajunas being 2-1 outside of The Ultimate Fighter at the time, her run on the show convinced the oddsmakers that she was the favorite to win.

Well, being the talented wrestler she was, Esparza played spoiler and went on to submit “Thug” in round three by rear-naked choke.

Namajunas eventually won the title at UFC 217 in 2017 when knocking out Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM