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Carla Esparza eyes Joanna Jedrzejczyk rematch - ‘It will be much different this time’

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Carla Esparza avoided a three-fight losing streak last Saturday night (April 27, 2019) after edging out Virna Jandiroba at UFC on ESPN+ 8 in Sunrise, Florida. For the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Strawweight champion, dropping three in a row simply wasn’t an option.

“When I was in the locker room, like … shoot, shoot,” Esparza told MMA Junkie. “I’ve never come off two losses before. I’ve never had two losses in a row. So for me, that third one, I kept telling myself, ‘You cannot lose this fight no matter what.’ I was willing to go in there and go through anything to get that win.”

Thankfully, “Cookie Monster” did enough to win over the judges and get a new lease on her UFC life, bringing her record to 5-4 inside the Octagon. Finally back in the win column, Carla is looking to the challenges ahead. And if she had her way, she’d like to get a do-over against another former division champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Joanna dethroned Carla from the top of the division at UFC 185 back in 2015 in what was Esparza’s first attempt to defend the title (see it here). Despite suffering a vicious technical knockout loss to “JJ,” Esparza says a rematch would be different.

Because not only has she improved her game in the three years since, but she wasn’t exactly in the best place that fateful night.

“Honestly, I’ve thought about that a lot since the fight happened,” Esparza said. “Not to take anything away from her win, but I really wasn’t in the best place. I think she’s gotten better, I’ve gotten better, and I would definitely be welcomed to that fight again. No matter what happens in that fight, it would be a much different fight than it was the first time.”

Joanna, meanwhile, hasn’t had the best run as of late, going just 1-3 in her last four outings with all three defeats coming in title fights. Her last contest saw her come up short in her bid to win the vacant women’s Flyweight title against Valentina Shevchenko.

That said, it seems now is as good a time as any to have these two talented ladies run it back.

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