Eight years after winning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gold by defeating Rose Namajunas for the inaugural women’s Strawweight title, Carla Esparza did the same thing this past weekend (Sat., May 7, 2022) at UFC 274 in Phoenix, Arizona (watch highlights).
And while it wasn’t the most exciting title fight ever — some say it was the worst — Esparza did enough to get the job done and reclaim the belt. Still, both Esparza and Namajunas have had to face harsh criticism for their respective performances. Even former division champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, couldn’t explain the reason the two ladies didn’t get anything going.
“I don’t know what happened, but when you feel – that first round wasn’t good. The second wasn’t, and sometimes you have to do something to get the victory,” Jedrzejczyk said during a recent interview (via MMA Junkie). “Even paying a big price. But, I don’t know what happened. Until the end of the fight I thought Rose got it, but no.
According to Jedrzejczyk, Esparza didn’t wow her with her title-winning performance, which is why she says history will once again repeat itself should she get the chance to fight “Cookie Monster” one more time.
“Like Carla, I really thought she was going to look better. I was like, ‘This girl is going to look better. She has so many win streak.’ But, for me, she looked the same as when we fought for the belt seven years ago in Dallas. And history likes to make a circle. And soon (I’m) to be the champ.”
Jedrzejzcyk ended Esparza’s title reign just three months after she took it from “Thug Rose” at UFC 185 via second round technical knockout back in 2015. Now, the former champion will look to lock down her chance at another scrap against Esparza by defeating Zhang Weili at UFC 275 on June 11, 2022, in Kallang, Singapore.