According to Dana White, the next strawweight title bout is in the works.
According to UFC President Dana White, Namajunas’ next title challenger will be none other than the first strawweight champion, Carla Esparza.
“Carla Esparza (is next),” White told ESPN. “100 percent.”
This should not come as a shock since Namajunas has been asking for Esparza since her win and vice versa. Esparza is currently on a five-fight winning streak. Her last win came over Yan Xiaonan in May. Since then, Esparza has been waiting for her shot at the belt. Now, her time is coming, and the bout with Namajunas will be a familiar one.
Namajunas and Esparza were both members of The Ultimate Fighter Season 20. Both made it to the finale, and it was Esparza who walked away with the win over Namajunas and the belt wrapped around her waist. She later lost the belt to Joanna Jędrzejczyk.
Namajunas’s skills have grown immensely in the years after her first fight with Esparza. Since this loss, she has had 11 fights in the UFC and has finished five of those opponents.
Since Esparza lost her title, Namajunas has won it, lost it, and won it again. She is continuing to prove that she is one of the best in the world at 115 pounds. She now holds wins over every other former strawweight champion except Esparza. If she can beat Esparza, perhaps she can claim the title of UFC strawweight GOAT.
Do you think Carla Esparza will have what it takes to dethrone Rose Namajunas when they meet for the second time?