Carla Esparza congratulated Rose Namajunas and is hoping to face her next.

Namajunas defended her women’s strawweight title last night at UFC 268 after earning a hard-fought and razor-thin split decision victory over Weili Zhang in their rematch.

Of course, there was an argument that Esparza — who is on a five-fight winning streak — should have been the one to face Namajunas. Especially as she also holds a prior win over the current champion.

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However, that’s in the past for Esparza who took to Instagram to congratulate Namajunas. She concluded by stating it would be an honor to run things back.

“Congratulations @rosenamajunas on a fantastic victory!” Esparza wrote on her Instagram. “Inspiring to so many and and I am truly happy for you 🙏🏼 Fate had us cross paths when we created this division and I’m proud that 7 years later we are both still here at the top of it.

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“This is not a call out or anything disrespectful… this is genuine respect. You deserve time to celebrate and enjoy this accomplishment. It will be an honor to run this back when you are ready.”

White: We Have An Option Other Than Esparza

Namajunas will need some time to recover before she competes again and so, it would make sense for Esparza to simply wait for her title shot.

UFC president Dana White, however, is not a fan of fighters waiting on the sidelines for a title shot and revealed he had another option for Namajunas to face.

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“We have an option,” White said at the UFC 268 post-fight presser (via MMA Fighting). “You don’t sit around and wait for fights, it’s a really bad idea.”

Esparza last competed in May when she TKO’d Yan Xioanan.

Should Carla Esparza get the next title shot?