There were mixed emotions for Carla Esparza last night.
Esparza became a two-time women’s strawweight champion following a split decision victory over Rose Namajunas in their rematch in the co-main event of UFC 274.
However, it was an uneventful fight with little to no action whatsoever as the crowd were booing throughout. In the end, two of the three judges scored it for Esparza who now reigns over the 115-pound division.
It was an unfortunate way to win the title as Esparza wanted to put a show for the fans. But with that said, fights like that can happen as well.
“That’s always a bummer,” Esparza said at the UFC 274 post-fight press conference (via MMA Junkie). “You want to put a show for the fans, and it’s unfortunate to be a part of a fight like that. But I felt I was putting the pressure, and I was coming forward, and I was holding on to the center of the octagon.
“At the end of the day, I did what I could, and I tried to fight my fight, but fights go like that sometimes.”
Given the lack of action, the fight really could have gone either way. Namajunas may have landed some better shots, but she rarely pushed the action.
Esparza landed a few takedowns, but was the one pushing forward. And even she admits she was not 100 percent sure who would come out on top in the eyes of the judges.
“In my head, I thought being the aggressor, it would look better to the judges, but in fights like that you never know how the judges are going to view it,” Esparza said. “At the end of the day, I was not 100 percent sure what was going to happen when they called my name.”
Who Is Next For Carla Esparza?
A trilogy fight will likely not happen anytime soon, so the attention turns to who Esparza could face next.
The winner of the UFC 275 rematch between Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk next month certainly makes the most sense, but Esparza also has another contender in mind.
“I would say it’s definitely in the mix as a No. 1 contender fight,” Esparza added. “That or Marina Rodriguez. Obviously we fought before, but she’s been on a tear. We fought a few fights ago, and she’s had some dominant wins over some really great fighters. I would definitely put her up there.”
Who do you think Carla Esparza should face next?