The UFC’s first ever women’s strawweight (115-pound) champion, Carla Esparza recently hinted that she is ready for a comeback and possibly eyeing UFC 199 as the event in which the former champ returns.
Esparza, who won the title in December 2014 after winning the Ultimate Fighter season 20 Finale, lost her title in her first defense just three months later. The loss to current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk happened at UFC 185 in March 2015. Esparza has not fought since, mostly sidelined by injuries. She underwent a successful shoulder surgery in June.
“Update on when I’m going to fight again: I am ready to fight,” Esparza wrote in a recent tweet. “Just been waiting for a spot to open up on a card. Hopefully soon (at) UFC 199??”
update on when I’m going to fight again: I am ready to fight. Just been waiting for a spot to open up on a card. Hopefully soon😊👊🏽.#UFC199??
A fight nor an opponent have been confirmed for Esparza, however it is likely that since she was the most recent title holder, and also vacated her Invicta FC title to come to the UFC, she would
fight a top 5 UFC strawweight. The current UFC rankings have Claudia Gadelha seated at number one. Gadelha will challenge Jedrzejczyk for the title in July at the culmination of the upcoming season of the Ultimate Fighter where the two ladies serve opposite as coaches.
Esparza is ranked at number two, Rose Namajunas, three, Tecia Torres, four, and Jessica Penne at number five. Torres and Namajunas are slated to fight one another, and Penne is good friends with Esparza, so in all reality, a fight with number six ranked Valerie Letourneau is most likely.
Stay tuned for updates.