Carla Esparza on snoozer Rose Namajunas rematch: ‘It’s hard to fight someone that doesn’t want to fight’

Carla Esparza on snoozer Rose Namajunas rematch: ‘It’s hard to fight someone that doesn’t want to fight’

Carla Esparza is overjoyed to be a UFC strawweight champion once more, even supposing her 2nd win over Rose Namajunas got here after one of the vital lackluster name fights within the promotion’s historical past.

“That’s always a bummer,” Esparza stated on the post-fight press convention for UFC 274, the place she gained a cut up resolution over Namajunas with a refrain of boos accompanying the verdict at Footprint Heart in Phoenix. “You all the time wish to placed on a display for the fanatics, so it’s unlucky to be part of a combat like that.

“But I felt that I was putting the pressure on, I was coming forward, I was the aggressor, I was holding on to the center of the octagon, so at the end of the day, I did what I could, and I tried to fight my fight, but fights go like that sometimes.”

Esparza was once moderately stunned that Namajunas didn’t have interaction extra aggressively, however she attributed that to the specter of her takedown, which from the beginning have been her trail to victory within the eyes of maximum MMA observers. When the combat failed to pick out up, she didn’t really feel overly harassed to switch what she was once doing – her coaches informed her she was once on target.

“I felt that I fought a smart game plan,” Esparza stated. “I felt that if I would have gotten too wild and too reckless, I would have set myself up to be a highlight reel. Rose has incredible timing and placement on her strikes. She’s had some awesome head-kicks finishes and dropped people, so I didn’t feel like it was a smart person to get reckless with.”

Because it grew to become out, Namajunas’ coaches had given the similar encouragement, and when the reputable resolution was once learn, the deposed two-time champ reacted in surprise. Later, she was once nonetheless looking to comprehend how she misplaced the combat.

However from Esparza’s standpoint, there was once a easy rationalization.

“I don’t feel that Rose pushed the pace,” she stated. “As a champion, you really need to go after it, and [say], ‘This is my octagon.’ I don’t really feel that she was aggressive enough to say, ‘Hey, this was my win,’ so at the end of the day, I got the belt, and if she wants a rematch, I’m down for that, too.”

The possibility of a trilogy between the strawweights seems moderately dim after their 2nd appearing. Much more likely for Esparza’s subsequent transfer is a gathering with the winner of a gathering between ex-champs Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Zhang Weili at UFC 275. Esparza, who misplaced the belt to Jedrzejczyk seven years in the past in her first name protection, additionally welcomed a rematch with Marina Rodriguez.

The latter in opposition to Rodriguez was once every other nail-biter at the scorecards with the media cut up over the winner. Headed into the championship rounds, Esparza stated she attempted to place a stamp on her efficiency – she simply didn’t have a cooperative spouse.

“I really want to set it in the eyes of the judges,” she stated. “I hate to say it this way, but, it’s hard to fight someone that doesn’t want to fight.”

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