I guess I’ll rewind this blog back to my first opportunity to fight for Invicta Fighting Championships, which was at their second show on July 28th. The show turned out great, and I had the opportunity to see some amazing ladies in action. Armed in my hot pink singlet, I fought Sarah Schneider.
She definitely gave me a run for my money, but in the end I came out victorious with a second-round TKO. Sarah was very gracious before and after the fight, and she even had all of the Invicta FC fighters sign a pink guitar that she would auction off for charity. Very cool.
After the fight, my dear friend and fellow MMA fighter Cassie Rodish and I flew off to Florida to train. We met Sarah Maloy and Chare’ Roland at the airport, and off to the hotel we went. Long story short, we were there for a seminar that fell through, so we decided to make lemonade out of lemons and coordinate our trip. Our trip was full of food, training, waves, and laughs. Now that’s what I call a vacation! The most interesting thing we did was probably riding an air boat over the swamps, followed by a lunch of frog legs and gator tails, yumm yumm! Definitely made some lifelong friends in these girls and cannot wait to see them again.
Back home, I had four days to prepare for a three-week trip to Europe. Monday morning I was off to Madrid, Spain to see my family whom I hadn’t seen in 15 years. It was so great to see them, and Spain was amazing. I got to eat tapas, see flamenco dancing, explore the city, and much more. A few short days later, I flew to London to begin my two-week tour of Europe, which I could probably write ten pages on so I won’t even start! I will just say that I got to visit Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands, saw some amazing sites, ate some amazing foods, and had the trip of a lifetime!
During this amazing trip, I got word that I would be fighting October 6th at Invicta FC 3, and I couldn’t be happier! My opponent would be Lynn Alvarez, whom I had actually shared a Bellator locker room with years ago. Thankfully, on my trip I brought my running shoes and found some interesting ways to get workouts in. Luckily for me, though, even getting around town hustling up and down stairs in 105-degree weather can be quite a workout in itself.
As soon as I came home, it was time to get back to work. I have been hitting it hard ever since I’ve been home and feel great. It’s been back to business as usual, doing my strength and conditioning at Innovative Results and MMA training at Team Oyama, and usually in my stylish Brawl and Maul gear! Some days are hard, sometimes my body just feels like quitting, but that’s the time when my mind has the opportunity to grow the most.
If there is one thing that wrestling has taught me, it’s that it is not always about who has the most talent, or physical strength, but about who wants it more. In a fight, there will be moments where you just want to give up, to quit, but that’s when you need to pull something out from deep inside of you. Many refer to this as “heart.” The way you practice is the way you perform. If you “practice” giving up in training, you will give up when it counts.
I have awesome training partners that beat me up every day and make me not want to ever come back, but for some reason I keep coming back. I must be in love…with MMA. Yup, that sounds about right. I am lucky enough to have some awesome men as well as women to train with. I have been on an all-boys wrestling team in high school and an all-women’s wrestling team in college. There are advantages to both, and I am very lucky to have both.
When training with women, there is that competitiveness, that push. No one is holding back their size or strength, so there are no excuses. There is no, “well it’s okay if they beat me because they’re guys.” One of my favorite sparring partners and best friends, Marie “Angry Korean” Choi, and I try to tear each other’s heads off every day, but always finish training with a big hug because we always give each other war and are better fighters for it.
I have about two weeks until I fly to Kansas City for Invicta FC 3 and time seems to be flying by. There is so much to learn and so little time! My weight cut begins in about a week, during which I will spend my time fantasizing about all of the cookies and food I will eat after my fight. See you at Invicta FC 3!
And thank you to Alienware, Brawl and Maul Fight Performance Gear, Battleware Technology, Team Oyama, Innovative Results, and OC Fight Doc for helping me on my journey and making sure I get there in one piece.
Carla Esparza faces Lynn Alvarez at Invicta FC 3 on October 6th in Kansas City, Kansas.