Former UFC straw-weight champion Carla Esparza will be out for six to eight months following shoulder surgery in a story first reported by Fox Sports. Esparza’s manager, Brian Butler, confirmed to Fox Sports on Monday that surgery will be needed and the former champion will miss significant time.
Esparza first suffered the injury in her title fight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk back in March at UFC 185. Esparza would end up losing the fight and decided to let her shoulder heal in hopes of returning to action sooner rather than later. Upon returning to training and attempting to rehab her shoulder, Esparza felt the injury was not getting any better and decided to shut it down.
With the injury and the recovering time that follows, fans will not be seeing the “Cookie Monster” in action until sometime in 2016. Esparza is currently ranked number one in the UFC’s official straw-weight rankings but with this latest injury it is natural to expect her to drop from the number one spot sooner rather than later.
Esparza one the inaugural UFC women’s straw-weight champion after winning season 20 of the Ultimate Fighter and defeating Rose Namajunas in the finale. She is also the former Invicta FC straw-weight champion and has also competed under the Bellator MMA banner.