Former UFC Champ Carla Esparza finally healthy for return, wants on UFC 199 card in June

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Carla Esparza (photo credit Tim Heitman © USA Today Sports)

Carla Esparza became the UFC’s first ever Women’s Strawweight Champion in December of 2014 by winning the Ultimate Fighter 20 tournament, but hasn’t been seen since losing that title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk one year ago.

She’s finally on her way back, Tweeting out this week that she’s healed up, ready to return, and simply awaiting a fight booking.

Penick’s Analysis: Esparza got out-classed by Jedrzejczyk, exposing some significant holes in her striking game when she couldn’t get Jedrzejczyk down, but her skill set still matches up well against most of the division. She can quickly get back into the title mix with a return win and then consistent appearances and success in the cage from there. Just getting back into the cage in order to remind fans of who she is will be a big step after such a long layoff.

[Photo (c) Tim Heitman via USA Today Sports]

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  1. Former UFC Champ Carla Esparza steps in on short notice to face Juliana Lima at UFC 197 - MMATorch

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