Carla Esparza didn’t think Rose Namajunas wanted to fight her.
Esparza was looking to reclaim the strawweight title as she was rematching Namajunas nearly eight years later. The fight was one many fans were looking forward to, but the fight turned out to be a snoozer as neither threw many punches and failed to engage.
In the end, it was Esparza who won a split decision to become the new champ and after the win, she says she is disappointed by how the fight played out.
“That’s always a bummer,” Esparza said after UFC 274. “You always want to put on a show for the fans, so it’s unfortunate to be a part of a fight 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.”
Although Carla Esparza did enough and got her hand raised, she believes the fight was boring because of Rose Namajunas. Esparza doesn’t think Namajunas wanted to be aggressive and was the one that was tentative which led to Esparza having to push the pace. She also says she would be open to running it back if that is what the UFC wants to do.
“I don’t feel that Rose pushed the pace,” she said. “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.”
In the end, Carla Esparza believes the fight was a snoozer due to Rose Namajunas as she concludes by saying ‘Thug’ didn’t want to fight her.
“I really want to set it in the eyes of the judges,” she said. “I hate to say it this way, but, it’s hard to fight someone that doesn’t want to fight.”