Monday, June 21, 2021

Photos – The Carla Esparza Story

More from author

- Advertisement -Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

Carla Kristen Esparza (born October 10, 1987) is an American professional mixed martial artist who competes in the Strawweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

Largely known for her grappling abilities, Esparza was the first UFC Strawweight Champion, the first Invicta FC Strawweight Champion, and was generally considered the best strawweight fighter in the world while holding each title.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

Carla Esparza’s foray into mixed martial arts (MMA) began when she started wrestling for the varsity team during her junior year at Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, California.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

After winning multiple local and national high-school wrestling tournaments, Esparza was awarded a scholarship to Menlo College to wrestle under coach and former two-time Olympian Lee Allen

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

Bellator

In August 2010, only six months after her pro debut and with just three professional MMA fights, Esparza was called in by Bellator MMA as a last-minute replacement for Angela Magaña, who was forced to withdraw from her upcoming fight due to a foot injury.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

Esparza was inserted in the bracket of the Bellator Season 3 115 lb women’s tournament at Bellator 24. On just three days’ notice, Esparza’s opponent in the quarterfinal round was the undefeated and then #1 pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world, Megumi Fujii Esparza lost the fight to the heavily favored Fujii via second-round armbar submission.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

XFC and MEZ Sports

On December 2, 2011, Esparza made her XFC debut against Felice Herrig at XFC 15: Tribute in Tampa, Florida. She defeated Herrig via unanimous decision.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

Three months later, Esparza was scheduled to face Angela Magana at Pandemonium VI for the MEZ Sports women’s flyweight title.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

Unfortunately, Magana was involved in a car accident on the day of the fight while in transit to the Riverside Convention Center, where the event was being staged. Magana re-broke her back in the collision and was unable to compete in the fight.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

Invicta FC

In May 2012, it was announced that Esparza had signed with the upstart all-female Invicta Fighting Championships promotion.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

On July 28, 2012, Esparza made her Invicta debut at the promotion’s second event, entitled Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann, and faced Sarah Schneider on the preliminary card. Esparza won the fight via TKO (punches) at 4:28 of round two.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

Strawweight Championship

Esparza was expected to face Ayaka Hamasaki for the Invicta FC Strawweight Championship at Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt on January 5, 2013.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

However, Hamasaki withdrew from the fight in order to defend her Jewels Lightweight title in Japan. Esparza was then set to face Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cláudia Gadelha in the Invicta FC 4 main event, but Gadelha broke her nose in training and was forced to withdraw.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

The Ultimate Fighter

On December 11, 2013, it was announced that Esparza was signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) along with 10 other strawweight fighters to compete on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter, which would crown the first ever UFC Strawweight Champion.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

Strawweight Champion

After dominating much of the fight with her grappling and ground strikes, Esparza defeated Namajunas via rear-naked choke in the third round to become the inaugural UFC Strawweight Champion.

Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

The result also earned Esparza a Performance of the Night bonus.

If any content is used from this article, kindly backlink to this page.

If you like reading about sports, make sure you check out SportsIndiaShow.com
Also follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.com

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -Online betting site Betway
Online betting site Betway
- Advertisement -Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza
spot_img
Photos - The Carla Esparza Story - Carla Esparza

Related articles