Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Carla Esparza Interview

Photo Credit: Invicta FC

Carla Esparza has not fought since a decision win over Felice Herrig in December. On July 28th she returns to the cage for Invicta against Sarah Schneider. With Esparza being the one most are predicting to win, the pressure would seem to be on her, but it is doubtful that pressure would affect Carla in a negative way. Carla is fighting a tough fighter who will want to prove what she can do in Schneider, which could lead to this being a very exciting match-up.

Q: Before we talk about your fight, let's talks about Invicta. How exciting is it for you to be part of something so big for women's MMA?
A: I'm stoked. There is nothing better to me then an all women's show. It is showing we are coming so far along in this sport. It shows we are getting bigger and bigger. I am so excited.

Q: What did you think of the first Invicta event?
A: Oh my gosh, I thought it was amazing. One of my good friends Cassie Rodish filled in last minute for the first fight so I was excited from beginning to end. All the girls put on good shows. There was a mix of different kinds of skills sets. A lot of grappling like Jessica Penne and Lisa Ward, good exciting striking like Kaitlin Young and Leslie Smith. Me and my friend Ashley were tweeting the whole time about the fights. It was exciting.

Q: As a female fighter, what will it take for a promotion like that to have long term success?
A: It will take the same thing it takes any promotion. It's a business, you have to market it, you have to keep the audience big, sell tickets, a lot of the same stuff that goes into making the UFC successful. It is not gonna come easy, it's a business and something things wont go the best, but if you keep pushing through and being smart, it will be successful. It helps to have Shannon Knapp and Janet Martin who are business minded women, so if anyone can do it, they can do it.

Q: You haven't fought since December, was it hard to take that much time off?
A: It was a change of pace for me. My first year fighting I think I had four or five fights. Then I go into a year with two fights, and then I haven't fought in awhile. It is hard, I haven't been sitting idle, I have been improving. It isn't a lack of trying to fight, just sometimes they fall through.

Q: Since December, where have you improved the most?
A: I wouldn't say it is one thing. I train wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu and striking every week. I think I have improved at everything, not one thing, just a better fighter in general and people will see that.

Q: You are fighting Sarah Schneider, what do you know about her?
A: I know that she is an American Jiu-Jitsu black belt. I know that she has fought some tough girls. She does rubber guard. Obviously I have watched her fights and checked her out. You never know what to expect in a fight but she is a grappler more than anything else.

Q: How do you feel you match up with her?
A: I feel I match up well with her. She seems to wanna be on her back a lot and I like to put people on their back. I think it will be a battle of who will impose their will more. I have never had a problem in that area, I am a grinder so I wont have a problem.

Q: It seems that what she likes to do, is where you excel at, so do you expect she may change up what she normally does?
A: Yeah, that's what is interesting. She is gonna wanna pull guard on em and has to expect a couple elbows to the face. She might wanna keep it standing, I don't think so, but you never know. She might try and take me down. I am always training for everything so nothing will surprise me to much.

Q: If she would keep it standing, you have good stand-up, so you are comfortable with that correct?
A: Yeah, I am comfortable standing with anyone in my division. I train with one of the best striking coaches in the country. I have worked on my stand-up for a couple years so I feel comfortable and have a lot of weapons on my feet and I will show them if she stands with me.

Q: Is there a key to you winning this fight?
A: I think they key is the same as any fight, be smart and patient and stay aggressive. Conditioning as well. keep a balance.

Q: It seems most expect you to win, does that put more pressure on you?
A: It does put pressure on me. If I lose I feel I let everyone down. This would shoot her up in the rankings and give her attention. She wants this bad and I don't wanna give it to her. It makes me train harder.

Q: Last time we talked you mentioned wanting a rematch with Jessica Aguilar, are you able to put that out of your head and just focus on Sarah?
A: Definitely! I haven't thought about Jessica, whatever she does is out of my head. I am just focused on this fight. My coach always tells me to look at whats in front of you and never look past it. That's how people get caught and lose and I don't want that to happen.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I don't have a prediction but I have what I would like to happen. I want to win on a TKO on the ground, that's what I am aiming for.

Q: With so many good females on this card, does part of you want to not only win, but be that fight everyone talks about after?
A: Of course. That's not only this, every fight I want people to be like "wow, she puts on a good show and is exciting". That's what I go for every time. If you run and don't do anything, you wont be an exciting fighter, but that's never been an issue with my fights.

Q: Any idea what you want next or just focusing on this?
A: Not worried about anything right now. In the back of my head the Aguilar rematch is in the back of my head, but right now just focused on this fight.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I just got signed with Sucker Punch Entertainement and am so excited to work with them. Brazilian Wear, , Battle Wear and someone with me for awhile is Brawl and Maul. Thanks to my coaches and teammates at Oyama and Innovative Results and California Wrestling Academy.

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