There’s been a last minute change of plans at Fury Pro Grappling 3 as Carla Esparza has stepped in to replace UFC Strawweight world champion Rose Namajunas against Danielle Kelly in the co-main event. Kelly is one of the most impressive female grapplers in the sport today and was promoted to black belt by the legendary ‘silver fox’ Karel Pravec relatively recently. She’s already spoken publicly about transitioning to MMA in the future and was given a fantastic opportunity at the event to test her skills on the ground against one of the greatest female MMA fighters on the planet.
Unfortunately Rose Namajunas was forced to withdraw from the event at the very last minute after testing positive for Covid-19 and being forced to isolate over the Christmas period but she’s been replaced very quickly by another MMA veteran in Carla Esparza. While Esparza is not quite as accomplished in MMA as Namajunas is, she’s at least as impressive on the ground, if not more so. Esparza actually won the very first UFC Strawweight world championship by submitting Namajunas in the third round after a hard-fought season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Since then, she’s faced tougher times in going 8-5 but has managed to put together a five-fight win-streak lately that has seen her reach second in the official Strawweight rankings. She will likely be able to face Namajunas relatively soon, although it remains to be seen how the division shakes up. In the meantime, Esparza will face a tough challenge at Fury Pro Grappling 3 despite the fact that she is known for her elite grappling and currently has five submission finishes in her professional record.
The full Fury Pro Grappling 3 event replay, including Carla Esparza replacing Rose Namajunas against Danielle Kelly, is available to watch on UFC FightPass, click here to subscribe and watch.