Why Was Carla Esparza Vs. Marina Rodriguez Moved To A Later UFC Event In July?

Two top strawweight’s almost lost all of their momentum within the division. Now, they will have a chance to prove they deserve a title opportunity.

MMA Fighting was the first to report that Carla Esparza v. Marina Rodriguez has been rebooked for July 25 on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi. The two were originally supposed to compete on July 15 but was pulled after a member of Rodriguez’s corner tested positive for the coronavirus. While Rodriguez’s test came back negative, the UFC did not want to take any chances after creating an extensive health and safety plan.

Rodriguez (12-0-2) has not lost a bout since debuting in 2015. Joining the UFC during Dana White’s Contender Series, the 33-year-old is 2-0-2 with the promotion. Her last fight was a majority decision draw against Cynthia Calvillo back in December. As a result of the recent flight procedures brought on by the UFC, Rodriguez will be quarantined in Sao Paulo until her other tests come back positive.

Esparza (16-6) is on a three-fight win streak and is 5-2 in her last seven fights. A former Invicta FC Strawweight Champion, Esparza became the first UFC Strawweight Champion in 2014. “Cookie Monster” fought this past May at UFC 249, beating Michelle Waterson via split decision.

Both Esparza (#7) and Rodriguez (#9) are close to one another in the UFC’s strawweight standings. A win by either could bring them one step closer to champion Zhang Weili.

“Fight Island” will be on Yas Island. The main event of the July 25 event will be Deiveson Figueiredo v. Joseph Benavidez in a rematch for the vacant UFC Flyweight Title.

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