Reigning UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas wants to defend her division strap against former 115-pound titleholder Carla Esparza at some point in early 2022, and to the surprise of no one, “Cookie Monster” has been asking for the same fight.
So why hasn’t the promotion booked the fight?
“I think it’s maybe because she’s a wrestler or something,” Namajunas told MMA Junkie. “I don’t know. Maybe it’s hard for them to get behind her, but I don’t know what it is, really. I do think she was sitting out and waiting for the title shot and that wasn’t the best move, but honestly I think it just makes sense. Make it happen.”
Esparza (18-6) is the winner of five straight and currently sits at No. 2 in the strawweight rankings, right behind former champion Zhang Weili. More importantly, “Cookie Monster” scored a submission victory over the 11-4 “Thug” back in 2014.
“It’s the only one that makes sense,” Namajunas continued. “I can fight anybody, but nothing really interests me other than Carla.”
The next available contender is Marina Rodriguez, who is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Mackenzie Dern last October. That said, the Brazilian was defeated by Esparza back in summer 2020.
“The fight Rose wants. The fight I want. The fight the fans want,” Esparza wrote on Twitter. “Simple. Make it happen.”