The inaugural strawweight champ Carla Esparza thinks a win against Xiaonan Yan will catapult her back into unfinished business with strawweight great, Rose Namajunas.
This weekend, taking place inside the UFC Vegas APEX facility, Carla Esparza and the number three ranked Xiaonan Yan will throw down for a possible title shot. With each athlete within an arm’s reach of title contention, both understand that a win here is a huge step toward a giant 2021. It seems Xiaonan Yan realizes the business between the current champion Rose Namajunas and Esparza isn’t quite finished.
However, her goal is to drive a wedge between that plan this Saturday with a blitzing performance against Esparza. The perennial contender spoke to MMA Junkie about her plans.
“I’m definitely thinking this is a No.1 contender fight,” Esparza recently told MMA Junkie.
Without a doubt, both athletes involved in this pressure-cooker type of fight understand the consequences should they lose. The former champion Esparza is no stranger to the game, and she understands that title opportunities do not come around often.
Carla Esparza Targeting Rose Namajunas Rematch
Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas fought over seven years ago, and while Esparza won the belt, she is determined to once again feel gold around her waist. It seems that if Esparza is able to get through the daunting pace of Xiaonan Yan, perhaps she may one day realize her opportunity of fighting again for a world title. In fact, Esparza has been making big strides in her fighting career as of late and believes she is now realizing her full potential.
“A lot can happen in seven years,” Esparza continued. “I think for both of us, we both developed a lot more skills, grown up a lot. Nothing but respect for how far she’s come since we fight and I think if we fought again it would be a very exciting fight.”.
The rubber match between the former champ and current champ Namajunas will no doubt be exciting. The steady adjustments made by the two will definitely bring a fun fight for the fans, but first the 33-year old has a very difficult test to solve on Saturday night and Xiaonan Yan hasn’t failed a test since 2010.
Do you believe Carla Esparza will come out victorious this weekend or will Xiaonan Yan seize the moment?