Rose Namajunas wants to have a rematch with Carla Esparza sometime in the near future. The strawweight champion lost to 'Cookie Monster' during the inaugural UFC title fight for 115-pounders in December 2014, which also marked the finale of the 20th installment of The Ultimate Fighter.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour, Namajunas claimed her upcoming opponent Zhang Weili was the most dangerous person she could face, but the Esparza matchup also interests her.
"Originally, I was [surprised about Weili rematch] because of how impressive Carla looked. I think when I step out of my shoes, instead in UFC's shoes, I guess that's what makes more sense to them. Then when I really think about it, Weili is the most dangerous opponent I could face. At the end of the day, I don't think it matters who I fight because opponents can change. All that matters to me is just being ready for a fight. Of course, I want to get that one back. Do I want to fight Carla eventually? Yes, as long as she keeps winning," said Namajunas.
Carla Esparza is on a five-fight winning streak in the UFC, having most recently defeated Yan Xiaonan in May this year. She is currently ranked No.3 in the strawweight division and No.9 in the women's pound-for-pound rankings.
After overcoming Namajunas, Esparza lost her belt during her first title defense against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 185 in March 2015.
Watch Rose Namajunas in conversation with Ariel Helwani below:
Rose Namajunas will defend her women's strawweight championship against Zhang Weili at UFC 268
Women's strawweight titleholder Rose Namajunas will fight Zhang Weili in a rematch at UFC 268 in New York City on November 6.
'Thug' knocked out 'Magnum' at UFC 261 in April to become the first female champion to reclaim a belt in the world's biggest MMA promotion.
Namajunas holds a 10-4 record and became queen of the 115-pounders when she defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217 in November 2017. The 29-year-old American defended the belt against the same opponent a few months later before dropping it to Jessica Andrade at UFC 237 in May 2019.
Meanwhile, Weili is 21-2. She beat Andrade at UFC Fight Night 157 to become the strawweight champ for the first time. The 32-year-old Chinese star also made her first successful title defense against Jedrzejczyk before losing to Rose Namajunas in the next bout.