Carla “The Cookie Monster” Esparza has been preparing for weeks to face Brazilian prospect Claudia Gadelha, but now her focus will turn to a different direction as Gadelha has pulled from the fight due to injury.
Esparza will now face Australian star Bec Hyatt for the Invicta FC Strawweight championship Invicta FC 4.
Both Esparza and Hyatt confirmed the change on their Facebook pages. Scottish striker Joanne Calderwood, who was set to face Hyatt on Jan. 5 2013, will now face Livia Van Plettenber, according to a report by MMAWeekly,com.
However this change is not also without a little bit of drama. On her Twitter, Hyatt tweeted to a fan that Calderwood had originally been offered the title fight with Esparza. Calderwood did say that her coaches turned down title match and that she wanted to give Esparza “the respect of a full training camp”. She also said that “Carla is going to have an early night next Saturday.”
While I would have preferred to see Esparza take on Calderwood, this was a smart move on the part of Calderwood’s coaches, especially since Esparza is one of the top strawweights in the world.
Calderwood can be mad at not taking the fight, but if she defeats Van Plettenber in the same impressive fashion that she did against Ashley Cummins back in October, she would certainly make her case for the winner of the Esparza-Hyatt title fight.
Although Hyatt is getting a shot at becoming champion, taking a title fight on short notice may not be the best idea for Hyatt, especially against a fighter with Esparza’s experience. Hyatt may have the advantage as far as striking and she may want to keep the fight standing to utilize her punching power.
Another factor is the length of the fight. While Hyatt may have gone the distance once in her career, that was under a different set of rules. Hyatt will have to try and finish Esparza early, otherwise the Cookie Monster will wear her down and claim the Invicta belt.
Do you have Hyatt or Esparza in this fight? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover with the hashtag #RantMMA.