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Carla Esparza considers Claudia Gadelha the division’s No. 1 contender: ‘She is next in line for the belt’

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Former Invicta FC champion Carla Esparza joined members of the media in a scrum ahead of UFC 177, where she discussed a variety of topics including her time in the TUF house, her experience with the show, and how it felt to get back in the real world.

With less than a week to go before the official premiere of The Ultimate Fighter season 20, Carla Esparza is confident fans will thoroughly enjoy the upcoming fights.

"When it comes to women, you're always going to get a good fight," Esparza told media members ahead of UFC 177. "Women always bring it and this is no different. Everyone came; there way wars, there was finishes. It was just amazing fights and I don't think the fans will be disappointed."

Since one of the main selling points of this impending season is that the winner of the show is crowned as the first ever UFC strawweight champion, Esparza already believes there is a legitimate No. 1 contender who deserves a shot at whoever the champion may be.

"I think that Claudia Gadelha came in as one of the top contenders. She was supposed to fight for the Invicta title against me actually. I think that pretty much still stands. I pretty much think she is next in line for the belt."

Considering their time on TUF meant no contact with the outside world, Esparza explained her excitement getting back to the "information overload" in reality.

"When I got out of the house, there were a lot of big questions everyone was asking like, ‘what is going on with the World Cup?' We heard about the Daniel Cormier - Jon Jones thing and that was crazy. We got a little taste of the ice bucket challenge cause we got to do that."