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Marina Rodriguez campaigns for Carla Esparza rematch for the title: ‘I think it’s only fair’

UFC strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez would like to face champion Carla Esparza for the title next.

Marina Rodriguez defeated Yan Xiaonan at UFC 272.
Marina Rodriguez defeated Yan Xiaonan at UFC 272.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC women’s strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez wants a second chance against Carla Esparza, and with the title on the line this time around.

After defeating Yan Xiaonan in her most recent outing, the Brazilian believes she is the clear top contender in her division and claims that the rematch would draw attention to the match.

In an interview with Combate, Rodriguez explained how her win streak should be enough to prove she is the real number one contender at strawweight. Furthermore, Marina believes that a new challenger like herself would be refreshing after so many title fights with the same athletes.

“I’m the strawweight with the longest win streak in the division, so I think it’s only fair for me to be the next challenger,” Rodriguez said. “All the other athletes in the mix have had their chances already. I believe it’s time to shake things up and give other athletes a chance. The fans like new blood fighting for the belt. Whoever gets this chance for the first time will try to show fans how important this is to them. I’m sure they’ll deliver a fun, aggressive fight and that they’ll leave all they’ve got in the Octagon in order to win the belt.

“That’s my case,” Rodriguez said. “If I have this chance, I’ll not let this fight be boring for a second. This is my chance to become champion of the world, I won’t let it pass me by. You have to give your life for it. I’m a UFC employee, though, so I follow their plans. If they think I should do one more fight before the belt, I will. I’m not counting on my next fight being for the belt.”

Currently on a four-fight winning streak, Rodriguez (16-1-2) defeated Amanda Ribas, Michelle Waterson, Mackenzie Dern and the aforementioned Xiaonan in her most recent outings. In fact, the 35-year-old’s sole professional defeat happened in July 2020, when she dropped a split decision to current champion Esparza.