Saturday, November 26, 2022

Carla Esparza Speaks Out Following UFC 281 Loss To Zhang Weili

Former two-time UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza is remaining positive following her loss to Zhang Weili at UFC 281.

Esparza lost to Weili in the UFC 281 co-main event on Saturday in New York City. After a back-and-forth first round that featured wild scrambles, Weili showcased her vastly improved ground game to submit Esparza in Round 2.

Esparza was making her first title defense of her second stint as strawweight champion. She defeated Rose Namajunas via a split decision for the belt earlier this year at UFC 274.

Esparza drew the ire and animosity of fans during UFC 281 fight week, likely due to her less-than-entertaining performance against Namajunas. After an exciting fight for as long as it lasted, she appeared to change the opinion of a chunk of UFC fans.

As Esparza mourns the loss and looks ahead to what’s next, she’s thinking on the bright side as she leads the strawweight title picture.

Carla Esparza Has ‘No Regrets’ Following Loss To Zhang Weili

In a recent Instagram post, Esparza gave her thoughts on her performance at UFC 281.

“You win some you lose some, just part of this dangerous game we play,” Esparza posted. “No regrets, I worked hard and did my best.”

Back-to-back losses to Tatiana Suarez and Cláudia Gadelha preceded a six-fight winning streak in the Octagon for Esparza. Before her title win over Namajunas, she earned recent wins over Yan Xiaonan and Marina Rodriguez.

Esparza earned the inaugural strawweight title by defeating Namajunas in 2014. She went on to lose the belt at UFC 185 to Joanna Jędrzejczyk.

Esparza remains one of the top grapplers in the UFC and will look to get back on track in her next fight. Another impressive win streak could help her work her way back to a rematch with Weili.

What do you think is next for Carla Esparza?