Friday, May 4, 2012
Carla Esparza Interview
After a very close decision loss that she feels she won against Jessica Aguilar, Carla Esparza rebounded with a good win over Felice Herrig. Carla has asked for another shot at Aguilar but has so far been turned down. A rematch of what the fans on this blog voted 2011's Fight of the Year, is a fight fans of women's MMA would love to see, but unable to get the fight she wants, Carla as you will read, is not sitting around and waiting and is in talks to fight for another promotion as she continues to try and climb up the rankings and prove she can hang with the best.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the sport?
A: Well I started as a wrestler. I wrestled in high school and went to college and wrestled on a scholarship. Then I started boxing and Jiu-Jitsu and it started from there. I put them all together and started doing MMA.
Q: Your last fight was a win over Felice Herrig, overall how happy were you with your performance?
A: I think it was a good performance. I think I got to show my wrestling skills. Felice Herrig is a well known fighter so it was good publicity and good for my career to have my skills displayed on television on a big scale like that.
Q: Coming off a loss, how important was it for you to get a win?
A: It was important. I have only been fighting for two years but I wanna keep a solid record. If I lose to someone I want it to be something very close. I think I have the capabilities to beat anyone in the world and I never want to lose again.
Q: Before that fight, you lost a close decision to Jessica Aguilar. Is it safe to say you felt you won?
A: In my opinion I won the fight. I think the judges were biased and I think even the announcer who is good friends with her, announced the fight more in favor of her. I am looking forward to a rematch and I don't plan to have a close fight this time. I plan to dominate so there is no question in the eyes of the judges, or I will finish it.
Q: Why do you think the judges were biased towards her?
A: There is a couple reasons I think the were biased. First of all we were in her home town, so you have her home crowd rooting for her, and that doesn't hurt when the judges hear everyone screaming your name. Secondly, the judges in Florida are boxing judges. They are all in the boxing commission. I threw a lot of kicks and I think maybe takedowns and kicks aren't as respected in the boxing commission. They weren't for my style and respect the boxing more. Finally, I think a lot of people gave Bellator a lot of flack for the decision they gave to Zoila Frausto against Jessica Aguilar, so I think they didn't want more anger from the fans.
Q: Is there anything in that fight you could have done differently?
A: I think I could have grounded her early in the round and more often. I think I was more intimidated then I should have been of her ground game. I have a solid ground game and should have been more confident in my ground but I guess the hype got to my head.
Q: You have said you want a rematch, I assume you still want it?
A: Yeah, actually we just asked her camp for a rematch and they declined it for the time being. Along the line its gonna happen but unfortunately its not gonna right now cause they turned it down.
Q: Why do you think they turned it down?
A: Its all kind of opinion, I don't really know why. She was at the fight when I beat Felice, and I think she knows she can't stop my takedowns. I actually saw her buy a pair of wrestling shoes and head gear cause she posted it on her Facebook a couple days after my fight. I guess she is taking more time to work on her wrestling, but I am not sure why they turned it down.
Q: On my blog the fans voted it the Fight of the Year, even though you didn't get the decision, can you take satisfaction knowing you put on a performance so many people liked?
A: Yeah, I always love to put on a good fight and show my skills and heart. I think that's something I have always done, put on a good fight, because when you put your everything into the cage, how can it not be a good fight?
Q: Do you think people look at you as maybe a wrestler and not realize you have a stand-up game and under estimate it?
A: I think anyone who has seen my last couple fights where I have stood a lot, wouldn't be able to under estimate it. But people who don't know me a lot could under estimate my stand-up game.
Q: You saw the Invicta card correct?
A: Yes I did.
Q: What did you think of it?
A: I thought it was amazing. I loved watching and was pumped up. Me and my friend who is a fighter were texting back and forth commenting on the show the whole time. It was a good show, I think the ladies put on some good performances.
Q: Do you want to fight for them?
A: Yes, I am actually in the process of setting up a fight to be on the next card as a matter of fact.
Q: Long term, what will it take for an all female promotion to be successful?
A: Long term, they need to keep doing what they are doing. The word is getting out. I think for anything to be successful you just have to have a good product and fans will come. I think they have come and word is getting out and I see it getting bigger and bigger.
Q: Do you think people in charge of big promotions maybe don't realize how big the fan base is for women's MMA?
A: I think everyone has their own opinion on women's MMA. Its getting to the point where its hard to deny there is a fan base out there. The only problem is for smaller promotions, to get a higher quality bout, you have to fly people in. For smaller shows that's not on option maybe, but for the bigger shows, I think they will get their act together.
Q: If you could pick one person you wanna fight, outside of Jessica Aguilar, is there someone?
A: For me there is no one specific. I want tough fights with people above or close to me in the rankings. I want a challenge and a good fight.
Q: Your only other loss is Megumi Fuji, is that a fight you would want?
A: Yeah I would love to fight Megumi again. She has never stopped improving and is a phenomenal grappler, and her stand-up is getting better. With the right preparation I think it would be a lot closer this time around.
Q: After I said we had set this interview up, a lot of people said how I would like you and how nice you are. How important is it to you to be liked and respected by people in the sport?
A: Its very important to me. I think being a good role model and positive influence to the fans and the people in charge is important. It will push us forward as people see we are athletes and not a side show.
Q: Anyone you want o thank?
A: First my team Team Oyama. My biggest sponsor Brawl and Maul, they have supported me and I really appreciate it. Also Innovative Results.