Carla Esparza doesn’t have her next title challenge booked, but according to UFC president Dana White, it’ll come against one of two people.
The winner of the UFC 275 bout Saturday between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk will get a shot at the UFC women’s strawweight champion Esparza, White confirmed in an interview Tuesday with MMA Underground.
“This would definitely be that whoever wins this will definitely fight Esparza for the title,” White said.
Weili (21-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) vs. Jedrzejczyk (16-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) is a rematch of the two fighters’ all-time classic bout at UFC 248 in March 2020. After a back-and-forth, five-round war, Weili was declared the winner by split decision. Since then, Jedrzejczyk has not competed again. Meanwhile, Weili has yet to win, as she dropped two consecutive bouts to Rose Namajunas and lost her title in the process.
As for Marina Rodriguez (16-1-2 MMA, 6-1-2 UFC), who declared herself the next title challenger after four straight wins, White said she’s close to contention but won’t be next.
“She’s right there,” White said. “These things happen. Timing is everything.”
UFC 275 takes place Saturday at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN+/ESPN2.