Carla Esparza has issued a statement following her title loss to Weili Zhang at UFC 281.
UFC 281 saw Carla Esparza (20-7 MMA) get in the Octagon with Weili Zhang (23-3 MMA) in the women’s strawweight co-main event which took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City this past Saturday night, November 12th.
It was Weili Zhang, 33, who finished Carla Esparza, 35, with a rear-naked choke at the 1:05 mark of Round 2, reclaiming the championship belt for the second time in her career.
Esparza entered the cage with 6 wins in a row, most recently defeating Rose Namajunas in May of this year at UFC 274 to earn the women’s strawweight title.
Zhang had lost 2 of her last 4 fights coming into the Octagon, both losses were against Rose Namajunas (11-5 MMA) in April of 2021 at UFC 261 and November of 2021 at UFC 268. While losing the title to Namajunas, Zhang bounced back and defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-5 MMA), earning her a title shot against Esparza.
At the post-fight press conference, Zhang expressed her gratitude saying:
“Last time when I won the belt in China, all the fans from my country support me. I felt that I was the Weili belongs to China, this time I came to the U.S. I feel the same level of support from all you guys. I feel I’m the Weili belongs to the world.”
Continuing ‘Magnum’ said:
“I wanna say to everybody, all of us will experience failures. But when you experience that, you should never give up. Do want you want to do, persist on, and the victory will come back.”
While obviously disappointed by her loss at UFC 281, ‘Cookie Monster’ seemed to take it in stride.
Taking to ‘Instagram‘, Esparza issued the following comment:
“You win some you lose some, just part of this dangerous game we play. No regrets, I worked hard and did my best.”
Were you watching Esparza vs Zhang this past Saturday? Who would you like to see the Chinese champion fight next?
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