Carla Esparza Wants Invicta Strawweight Title, but More So, She Wants to Be No. 1 in the World


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

  • 13 days ago
  • 0 views

Former Invicta FC champion Carla Esparza joined members of the media in a scrum ahead of UFC 177, where she discussed a variety of topics including her time in the TUF house, her experience with the read news >>

  • 6 days ago
  • 1 views

Learn more about Ultimate Fighter 20 competitor and Invicta FC strawweight champion Carla Esparza and how mixed martial arts has impacted her life. read news >>

  • 6 days ago
  • 2 views

Once Ronda Rousey ushered in female fighters to the UFC, Invicta FC strawweight champion Carla Esparza knew it was just a matter of time before the strawweight division made its way. read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 14 views

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- During a scrum at UFC 177, Carla Esparza talks about the quality of fights on TUF 20, where Claudia Gadelha stands in the division, living and training in the TUF house, and mor read news >>

  • 12 days ago
  • 0 views

Not looking beyond the opportunity in front of her, Stephanie Eggink looks to add Invicta FC belt to a collection that already includes XFC championship. read news >>

  • 10 days ago
  • 200 views

Michelle Waterson retained her atomweight title with a victory over Yasuko Tamada, while Katja Kankaanpaa won the vacant strawweight strap with a submission victory over Stephanie Eggink. Invicta FC read news >>

  • 7 days ago
  • 1 views

LOS ANGELES - Carla Esparza carried herself into The Ultimate Fighter 20 with the confidence of a champion. Until she actually set foot in the infamous TUF house, that is. The Redondo Beach, Calif. n read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 7 views

Forced out of her Dec. 7 strawweight title defense at Invicta FC 7, Carla Esparza's weekend didn't improve as she watched Tecia Torres derail her BFF from cageside. After Torres explained how she 'do read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 27 views

Following the debut episode of The Ultimate Fighter Season 20, Tecia Torres took to Instagram to deny PED usage, while simultaneously taking jabs at Carla Esparza. (TUF 20 Episode 1 spoilers included read news >>