I was able to catch up with Bellator 115lb. fighter Carla Esparza after her tough, split decision loss to Jessica “JAG” Aguilar at Bellator 46 in Hollywood, Fl. this past weekend. After the fight she was visibly upset with the decision, but she was very gracious for allowing me to interview her afterwards. While we were talking, the CEO of Bellator, Bjorn Rebney, approached us and congratulated Carla on a great fight and asked her to stay busy, as he wants to see her back fighting in Bellator again.
MMA-Fla: Carla, thanks for taking time to talk with us. It was a great fight, and a very close one at that. In my opinion, probably the best fight of the night. With you being the wrestler and Jessica being a grappler, what were you expecting from her for this fight?
Carla Esparza: Jessica is a good fighter and unpredictable so I was ready for anything she would throw at me.
MMA-Fla: During the weigh-ins, when you and JAG were ready to face off, you had a short conversation with her. What was said?
CE: We were just joking around. She is a nice person and a good fighter.
MMA-Fla: Obviously it was a close fight and a tough decision. Most weren’t sure about the 30-27 scores. What were your thoughts?
CE: I shouldn’t have let it go to the judges. I’m fighting in someone’s hometown. I felt like when she threw a punch, I countered with 2 or 3 of my own. Same with the kicks. I had 2 takedowns in the first round. I don’t know how they scored it 30-27.
MMA-Fla: In your last Bellator fight, you were called up on a short notice to fight Megumi Fujii. How much time did you have to prepare for that?
CE: 3 days. They called me on a Saturday and I flew out on Monday.
MMA-Fla: How much weight did you have to cut?
CE: 8 pounds.
MMA-Fla: You put up a good fight on such a short notice. Would you like a rematch with Megumi?
CE: Of course, who wouldn’t want to fight one of the best? If there is a rematch, hopefully I’ll have more time to prepare (laughs).
MMA-Fla: You have fought at both 115 & 125. Which is a more comfortable weight for you?
CE: Probably 115 since I usually walk around at 124. I feel stronger when i fight at 115.
MMA-Fla: You fought at 125 last December against Nina Ansaroff, getting a split decision win. However, your nose was bleeding quite a bit. Was it broken?
CE: No, but it looked like it because there was blood all over. but no, my nose wasn’t broken.
MMA-Fla: Bellator recently signed Jessica Eye, a 125lb fighter. It’s rumored Bellator will have a 125lb tournament next season or in season 6. Would you be willing to compete in that?
CE: Yes, I would be open to competing.
MMA-Fla: If you were to fight Zoila Gurgel, what weight would you prefer?
CE: 115. Zoila’s a big girl!
MMA-Fla: Next weekend (July 1-3) is the G2 Summit. Do you plan on going?
CE: I will be there giving a wrestling seminar. Ashley Evans-Smith was scheduled to give the seminar with me, but unfortunately she won’t be able to make it.
MMA-Fla: Again, thanks for your time Carla. Sorry for the tough loss, but you fought really well. It could have gone either way in my opinion. Is there anyone you would like to thanks?
CE: Definitely. I want to thank Fight Chix, Innovative Results, OC Fight Doc, and Team Oyama.
mma-florida.com would like to thank Carla once again for being so gracious and taking time to talk to us.