Thursday, July 7, 2022

Marina Rodriguez Promises Not To Bore Fans If Given “Fair” Title Shot

Marina Rodriguez wants to avenge the only loss of her career and win the UFC strawweight title in the process.

The UFC’s #3-ranked strawweight contender made her case to challenge recently crowned champion Carla Esparza during an interview with Combate.

“I’m the strawweight with the longest win streak in the division, so I think it’s only fair for me to be the next challenger,” Rodriguez said. “All the other athletes in the mix have had their chances already.

“I believe it’s time to shake things up and give other athletes a chance. The fans like new blood fighting for the belt. Whoever gets this chance for the first time will try to show fans how important this is to them. I’m sure they’ll deliver a fun, aggressive fight and that they’ll leave all they’ve got in the Octagon in order to win the belt.”

In addition to her win streak, Rodriguez does have a case regarding “new blood” challenging for the strawweight title.

(Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

After defeating inaugural champion Esparza in 2015, Joanna Jędrzejczyk made five strawweight title defenses against five different challengers. Jędrzejczyk lost to Rose Namajunas in 2017, and only Jędrzejczyk, Namajunas, Jéssica Andrade, and Zhang Weili either held or challenged for the title until Esparza reclaimed the belt at UFC 274 this year.

Esparza’s title fight against Rose Namajunas didn’t exactly set the MMA world on fire with its action, something Rodriguez seemed to be well aware of during her interview.

“If I have this chance, I’ll not let this fight be boring for a second. This is my chance to become champion of the world, I won’t let it pass me by. You have to give your life for it. I’m a UFC employee, though, so I follow their plans. If they think I should do one more fight before the belt, I will. I’m not counting on my next fight being for the belt.”

The 35-year-old Brazilian is currently on a four-fight win streak after Carla Esparza beat her by split decision in 2020. That was the only loss of Rodriguez’s MMA career, although her record does include two draws in the UFC against Randa Markos and Cynthia Calvillo.

Rodriguez most recently competed at UFC 272 and won a split decision over Yan Xiaonan.

Do you think that Marina Rodriguez deserves the next strawweight title shot?

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