Defending Legacies: Carla Esparza vs. Virna Jandiroba

This Saturday, April 27th, legacies will be on the line when Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza welcomes Virna Jandiroba to the big stage at “UFC on Espn: Jacare vs Hermasson.”

At age 31, Carla Esparza has a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu and a long list of accomplishments.  She was the first Invicta FC Strawweight Champion , which she won against Bec Hyatt at Invicta FC 4.

She vacated the title when she was offered a spot on The Ultimate Fighter. She breezed through the challengers in The Ultimate Fighter house.  Esparza went on to be the first female UFC Strawweight Champion belt by submitting Rose Namajunas (the current strawweight champion) by armbar in the second round.  

Carla’s reign would be short lived, however.  In March of 2015, just 5 months after winning the belt, she met the unstoppable force of Joanna Jedrezjczyk.  Joanna stood solid against Esparza’s takedowns and unleashed her fists on the Cookie Monster for two rounds before winning by TKO.

Virna Jandriroba is only one year younger than Esparza and just now reaching the level of UFC.  Some would say this is long overdue, as she amassed a record of 11-0 before being signed by Invicta, where she won the Strawweight Championship against Mizuki Inoue in March of 2018.  

She went on to defend her belt in September of 2018 against fellow Brazilian Janiasa Morandin before finally getting the call from Dana White.

Since her title loss, Esparza has only won half her matches, and is currently coming off a 2 loss slump.  She is being given a chance to rise back up by taking on the newcomer, Jandiroba. 

But Jandiroba will be standing before the largest crowd of her life, ready to defend her untarnished record of victories.  Jandiroba will be all too aware that Esparza, the collegiate All-American wrestler, was just recently outwrestled by Tatiana Suarez.  Jandiroba’s black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu is testament that her ground game is no joke. 

Esparza will have to dig deep, rediscover the warrior that became the first ever Women’s UFC Strawweight Champion in order to defeat such a formidable foe.

Will Carla’s cookie crumble?  Will Jandiroba prove herself to be worthy of the UFC by defeating a legend and pioneer of women’s strawweight division? Or will Cara Esparza put a stop to the dreams of the Brazilian and rise to the top once again?  

Comment below and let us know what you think!

 

Jay

3 comments

  1. carla is a holdout from the middle period of wmma, the post-gina / pre-ufc period. she was a big fish in a small pond early on, but now the gene pool is worldwide and she is no longer shining as brightly. This is all good – wmma might have died and vanished if it was not for girls like her making history, keepign it alive in smaller shows. And carla is still fierce, and to my knowledge doesnt’ have lingering injuries like too many other veterans. But she is quite small compared to the Tatianas of the world, the Joannas who are as skilled, and taller. good luck to carla – i met her once at a expo, and she is real cool

  2. Perhaps that’s what she needed-more muscle and strength. I felt she looked a little underwhelming when she fought Joanna. Glad she was able to adapt and overcome. I hope Virna gets more chances. I really like that fighter too

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