Carla Esparza has never been one to grow accustomed to losing. An athlete throughout her entire life, Esparza was able to parlay her wrestling credentials to become the first ever UFC strawweight champion by winning the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter. Heading into her last bout against Virna Jandiroba at UFC Fort Lauderdale, Esparza had lost two consecutive bouts, against Claudio Gadelha and Tatiana Suarez. And there was no way Esparza was going to leave the BB&T Center without getting back in the win column:
“When I was in the locker room, like … shoot, shoot,” Esparza told MMA Junkie. “I’ve never come off two losses before. I’ve never had two losses in a row. So, for me, that third one, I kept telling myself, ‘You cannot lose this fight no matter what.’ I was willing to go in there and go through anything to get that win.”
And Carla Esparza still has not forgotten her first loss in the UFC, where herreign as the first ever strawweight champion came to an end by the stinging hands of Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Ever the competitor, Carla Esparza would welcome a rematch against Jedrzejczyk down the road:
“Honestly, I’ve thought about that a lot since the fight happened,” Esparza said. “Not to take anything away from her win, but I really wasn’t in the best place. I think she’s gotten better, I’ve gotten better, and I would definitely be welcomed to that fight again. No matter what happens in that fight, it would be a much different fight than it was the first time.”
Who do you believe would win in a rematch between Carla Esparza and Joanna Jedrzejczyk?