Carla Esparza Ready to Win at Crowbar MMA's Winter Brawl

posted by MarQFPR, a Women Talk Sports blogger
today, December 9, 2010 at 8:52pm EST

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Photo Courtesy Brent Matsuno

Former All American Wrestler Carla Esparza has had quite a year. Making her pro debut in February with a tko win over Cassie Trost in under a minute, she would go 3-0 before getting the call to face one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world Megumi Fujii in Bellator with only a few days notice. Her superior wrestling was able to help her get past the first round before succumbing to an armbar in the second.

“Megumi is able to finish most people in the first round because she can bring you down to her world,” Esparza observed. “It’s really good to have that wrestling background and control where the fight goes.”

Esparza was on “Sportsgeeks” to talk about her training for her upcoming match with Nina Ansaroff at the Crowbar Winter Brawl in Grand Forks, ND Friday night.

Esparza has been wrestling for seven years, and took up jiu-jitsu and boxing four years ago, not knowing that she would make the transition to MMA.

“I didn’t know MMA existed until four years ago,” Esparza admitted. “I was already into boxing and jiu-jitsu by then. I kept training and that became the goal after I finished college. It was the next step.”

Expect to see Esparza in the future as Bellator MMA signed her to a multi-fight contract. Most of the top 115 pounders are signed with the promotion, and Esparza sees it as a goal to face the best the sport has to offer.

“I want to prove I am a fighter to be reckoned with,” Esparza stated. “I deserve to be in the top five. Any of those girls have really great skills. They are all good fighters or else they wouldn’t deserve to be there. I would love the opportunity to fight with any of them.”

Esparza will be fighting up a weight class when she faces Ansaroff, but is confident in her skills.


Crowbar MMA’s “Winter Brawl” is in Grand Forks, ND Friday night at the Ralph Engelstad Arena with matches starting at 7:30m p.m. mountain time. Also on the card is #6 ranked Cat Zingano verses #2 ranked Carina Damnm.


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