Former UFC champ Carla Esparza announces pregnancy, extended break from MMA

Former two-time UFC women’s strawweight champion, Carla Esparza, took to Instagram to announce her pregnancy with husband Matthew Lomeli.

The couple can be seen holding up a blue baby onesie in the post.

The 35-year-old also revealed her due date, which is September 2023, and her UFC return timeline, which she hopes to be early to mid-2024.

Esparza has been keeping this news a secret for the last 14 weeks, but she is excited for this next chapter in her life. The fighter is nicknamed ‘Cookie Monster’ and has become one of the most accomplished women fighters in the UFC.

Esparza’s successful career in UFC

Carla Esparza has had an impressive career in the UFC. She was the promotion’s first-ever strawweight champion, winning the title in TUF season 20 finale by submitting Rose Namajunas in the third round.

Esparza then went on to successfully defend her title against many high-profile stars, including Xiaonan Yan, Marina Rodriguez, and reigning flyweight queen Alexa Grasso, and former Invicta FC atom weight champion Michelle Waterson.

The 35-year-old had a win streak from 2019 to 2022 before losing her championship to Zhang Weili at UFC 281. Despite this setback, Esparza remains the No.1 contender in the 115 lbs division.

Esparza’s personal life

Carla Esparza made a bold decision when she opted not to postpone her wedding even though she had signed on for UFC 274. This meant that the last week leading up to the event was very stressful for her.

Esparza’s decision to stick to her wedding date meant that she had to plan for her wedding during the height of her camp. She even had a funny bachelorette party amidst all the chaos. However, the she did not let this distract her from her goal of winning the fight.

One of the most interesting decisions made by Esparza was to take her UFC belt with her down the aisle.

Esparza went on to reveal that she was struggling with the decision of whether or not to change her wedding date, as everyone wants to look and feel beautiful on their wedding day.

However, her fiancĂ©’s support sealed her decision. He assured her that if she had bumps or bruises, that was perfectly okay with him, and that he was not marrying her just for her beauty. His support meant the world to her, and she was grateful to have him by her side.

Esparza is not the only UFC star who has taken their belt to a wedding. TJ Dillashaw, for example, posed with his UFC belt during his wedding festivities. However, no one can match the level of dedication that Tim Sylvia had when he revealed that he had intimate relations while wearing the belt.