Carla Esparza mowed through the field of fighters on The Ultimate Fighter to become the first-ever UFC strawweight champion.
At UFC 249  Saturday night, Esparza relied on that experience to earn her third straight win with a decision victory over Michelle Waterson.
“Every fight, I go stone-cold to tune everyone out,” she said in a post-fight interview with Laura Sanko. “It was different and crazy. For me, it was a little bit like a mixture of a normal fight and TUF.”
The 32-year-old Esparza is now 16-6 overall with wins vs. Waterson, Alexa Grasso and Virna Jandiroba since a pair of 2018 losses to Tatiana Suarez and Claudia Gadelha.
“I wish I would have done more,” Esparza said. “I had a lot of things planned, but I didn’t get to do them because (Waterson) was good at keeping her distance.”