(Video) US fans boo Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza, cheer for Zhang Weili

Israel Adesanya is often criticized for his strategic approach to title bouts however the bout that earned Carla Esparza her title puts any Adesanya event to shame.

There was a total of 67 strikes exchanged between the two – in 5 Rounds.

So the fans are more than a little irked by UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza. The reaction the audience had to her was also more than a little aggravated when Esparza tried to score an easy verbal victory at the presser.

At the UFC 281 presser, New York audience gave Carla Esparza a cold shoulder.

As the 115-pound champion spoke about having “unfinished business” before her fight with Zhang Weili in the co-main event, boos could be heard among the audience. When the American defeated Rose Namajunas to capture the title in 2014, she became the first UFC women’s strawweight champion. However, she was unable to defend it as Joanna Jdrzejczyk defeated her in her championship defence.

Esparza claims that she is excited about the possibility of holding Zhang off this time.

She said, “It means everything to me. I fought back tooth and nail for eight years to get back here so that I could defend this belt.”

To a chorus of jeers, she replied, “that is the unfinished business that I have left to do and i’m excited to get the opportunity to do that.”

It seems that Esparza’s audience is taking its time to forget her championship winning performance.

At the UFC 281 news conference, the audience scoffed at her every time she talked.

By pledging, “I’ll do everything in my power to keep this belt here in the US,” the 35-year-old even made an attempt to appeal to their patriotism.

But she was greeted by the same old negative response.

When Esparza enters the Octagon, she will have the chance to win over the audience. On the other hand, Zhang Weili claims she wants to test her wrestling skills against Esparza before the match.

The Chinese star previously trained with Henry Cejudo. She could relate to Esparza since she had also seen bursts of hostile audience behaviour in the past.

The 33-year-old has trained with George Hickman at Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA in Thailand in preparation for this camp. It would be fascinating to observe how Zhang contrasts with Esparza’s skill in the grappling department given that the Hickman brothers are recognised for their superiority in MMA wrestling.