Former UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza will get her rematch with the current champ, Rose Namajunas in 2022, as confirmed by UFC president Dana White.
White announced it during a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. No date has been scheduled for the matchup but a formal booking could come within the next few months.
Esparza became the first-ever UFC women’s strawweight champion when she defeated Namajunas for the belt in 2014. The bout was part of The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale.
Esparza went on to lose her belt to Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 185 and has remained in contention ever since. She’s been on a roll over the past couple of years with five-straight wins over the likes of Marina Rodriguez, Michelle Waterson, and most recently against Yan Xiaonan.
Namajunas most recently defended her belt against Zhang Weili at UFC 268 in a title rematch. She won the bout via split-decision after knocking her out earlier this year.
Carla Esparza Has Been Vouching For A Title Shot For Months
Esparza has been vocal about the next strawweight title shot since her last win over Xiaonan in May. She hasn’t fought since and has been holding out for the rematch with Namajunas.
White has been on the record in the past, stating that Esparza isn’t playing it smartly by waiting for the title shot. By the time she more than likely gets the Namajunas rematch, it’ll be about a year since her last octagon appearance.
Esparza is mostly known for her strong grappling skills but also has showcased solid striking against some of the best in the division. Namajunas has shown some weakness with her takedown defense, as recently evidenced in her last fight with Weili.
The upcoming Esparza/Namajunas booking will bring clarity to a relatively stacked strawweight title picture.
What is your prediction for Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza 2?