The UFC has set up a key strawweight match-up for July 15. On that date, at an event yet to be officially announced, Carla Esparza is set to take on Marina Rodriguez.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was first to reveal the news.
Esparza (16-6), the inaugural 115lb champion in the UFC, is currently riding a three-fight win streak inside the octagon. She’s fresh off a win over Michelle Waterson at UFC 249, and is arguably on the best stretch of her career since winning the strawweight title against Rose Namajunas at the The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale.
Perhaps the biggest knock against “The Cookie Monster” is that she hasn’t found the finish since that 2014 meeting with Namajunas. However, she recently signed a new deal with the promotion, which should keep her in the UFC, and in the hunt for her old title, for the foreseeable future.
Brazil’s Marina Rodriguez (12-0-2) remains undefeated in her career, despite a pair of very close fights with Randa Markos and Cynthia Calvillo. Both of those bouts ended in majority draws. She also holds two wins inside the octagon, against Jessica Aguilar and Tecia Torres. Her most recent outing came in December at UFC on ESPN 7, the aforementioned draw with Calvillo.