Carla Esparza is not hanging up the gloves.
Rumors of the former UFC strawweight champion’s retirement began swirling after the algorithm-based X account UFC Roster Watch signaled Esparza (19-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC) was removed.
“The Cookie Monster” addressed her career status in a post on Instagram Saturday, refuting those rumors as she continues to recover from giving birth to her first child.
“I keep receiving messages so I wanted to clear it up,” Esparza wrote. “Maybe I was removed for inactivity. I am slowly biding my time and building my body and pelvic floor back up according to my PT’s recommendation. During the postpartum period there is relaxin and progesterone in the joints and their surrounding structures (especially since I am exclusively breastfeeding) which causes a slackening of the ligaments and can greatly increase the chance of injury during training.
“Just trying to have an intelligent approach to my comeback and do everything in my power to avoid an injury setback.”
After dropping the strawweight title to Zhang Weili at UFC 281 in November, Esparza took a break from competition to give birth. After over five hours of labor, she delivered her son Donovan in September. Esparza stated there were no complications, and she was thrilled to welcome the new addition to her family.