Carla EsparzaFor Invicta FC 115-pound title contender Carla Esparza, last year was a banner year.

“I think 2012 couldn’t have gone better,” Esparza told MMAWeekly.com. “I really displayed my wrestling in fights, which is something I was scared to do in previous years.

“I think it’s something I always had, but I was possibly not as confident in my jiu-jitsu, so I didn’t want to take people down or do this or that. Now that my ground and pound is coming along, I feel comfortable standing or on the ground. It will be great to have that wrestling and decide where the fight goes.”

Originally Esparza was set to start off 2013 against Claudia Gadelha on Saturday night for the Invicta 115-pound title, but due to injury, in steps Bec Hyatt.

While some portions of her game plan will have to change due to the different styles of her opponents, some areas remain the same for Esparza.

“I think my advantage is, I’ve been in a bad spot and I’ve come out of it,” said Esparza. “She hasn’t gone to many decision fights, so I can definitely push the pace and in the later rounds it’s going to wear on her.

“Strength has never been an issue for me. I don’t think she’s just going to overpower me and stop my game plan.”

Getting the opportunity to headline Invicta’s first show of the year and fight for a title brings its own special kind of pressure. But dealing with those kinds of expectations is nothing new according to Esparza.

“It’s pressure definitely, but every fight is pressure to me, headline or not,” said Esparza. “I feel honored that I have this fight and it makes me feel like I want to perform. I know I’m going to have a lot of eyes on me, so it’s more pressure on me to train hard and show my skillset out there.”

For Esparza, taking the Invicta strawweight belt Saturday night will be just another step towards her larger goal of being recognized as the absolute best fighter in her division, period.

Invicta FC 4 on PPV“Generally it’s fight to fight, but the goal is always to have a belt, to be No. 1 in the world,” said Esparza. “I’ve been working towards that, and whether it takes two or three fights or ten fights, that’s what I want.

“I think (this fight) is going to sustain that I deserve to be where I’m at and be in that cage fighting for the title and I deserve to have it.”

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for all of your Invicta FC 4 news and updates.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Video: Watch the fight that won Joanna Jedrzejczyk the UFC strawweight title

  • 19 days ago
  • 57 views

Check out the video of the UFC 185 bout with Carla Esparza that won Joanna Jedrzejczyk the UFC strawweight championship.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Carla Esparza full fight video

  • 19 days ago
  • 63 views

Check out the full fight video of the bout where Joanna Jedrzejczyk claimed the UFC women's strawweight title. UFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (9-0, 3-0 UFC) will defend her title read news >>

UFC Berlin Free Fight: Joanna Jedrzejczyk Takes Title from Carla Esparza

  • 18 days ago
  • 25 views

Joanna Jedrzejczyk puts her UFC strawweight championship on the line against Jessica Penne on Saturday, but check out how she took the belt from Carla Esparza. read news >>

Tweets of the Day: Former UFC champ Carla Esparza to have shoulder surgery, out 6-8 months

  • 12 days ago
  • 3 views

Former UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza will be out much longer and will have to undergo shoulder surgery. Carla Esparza isn't having a very good 2015. After having an incredible 2014 where she read news >>

UFC strawweight Carla Esparza sidelined 6-8 months with shoulder surgery

  • 12 days ago
  • 0 views

I guess we can stop campaigning for that Carla Esparza vs. Jessica Penne showdown. That's because "Cookie Monster," who was devoured by Joanna Jedrzejczyk earlier this year in Dallas, Texas, will be read news >>

Former UFC Champ Carla Esparza Out for 6-8 Weeks, Surgery on Tap

  • 11 days ago
  • 6 views

Former UFC women's strawweight champion Carla Esparza will be out of action for six to eight weeks with surgery on tap. read news >>

Joanna Jedrzejczyk to Penne: 'I'm coming for you, Jessica! You're going to feel the Polish power'

  • 19 days ago
  • 2 views

The UFC strawweight champion and her challenger fire shots at each other before title fight at UFC Berlin. read news >>

UFC 188 results: Tecia Torres grinds Angela Hill in Mexico to win boring decision

  • 21 days ago
  • 16 views

Two undefeated Strawweight women -- both of whom participated on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 -- Tecia Torres and Angela Hill kicked off the pay-per-view (PPV) main card of UFC 188, which took place read news >>

UFC 188 live blog: Tecia Torres vs. Angela Hill

  • 21 days ago
  • 20 views

This is the UFC 188 live blog for Tecia Torres vs. Angela Hill, a strawweight bout at Saturday night's UFC event at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico.Torres, who is 5-0 in her career, read news >>

Jessica Aguilar Signs with UFC, Debuts vs. Gadelha at UFC 190

  • 23 days ago
  • 0 views

The top female strawweight not signed to the UFC is a free agent no longer, as Jessica Aguilar will now compete with the best 115-pounders in the world, beginning with her UFC debut against Brazilian read news >>