Carla Esparza To Face Nina Ansaroff At Crowbar MMA: "Winter Brawl"Two-time All-American wrestler and Bellator veteran Carla Esparza has stepped in to face unbeaten prospect Nina Ansaroff at Crowbar MMA: “Winter Brawl” on December 10th. Esparza replaces Patti Lee, who had previously been scheduled to square off with Ansaroff on the card.

The change, which is the latest in a series of revisions, was confirmed to by matchmaker Chris Nelson today. Esparza challenged pound-for-pound standout Megumi Fujii on just three days’ notice in August at 115 pounds, while Ansaroff upset Catia Vitoria in September.

The bout between Esparza (3-1-0) and Ansaroff (1-0-0), first reported by SportsGeeks on Wednesday, represents an interesting test for both fighters. Esparza impressed in each of her first three professional mixed martial arts contests, scoring submission wins over Cassie Trost, Karina Hallinan and Lacey Schuckman. The California native dropped down in weight as a late-minute replacement against Fujii in the opening round of the Bellator 115-pound women’s tournament in August and put on an impressive showing before succumbing to a second-round armbar.

For Ansaroff, a protégé of submission ace Shayna Baszler, a fight with Esparza provides an opportunity to score another high-quality win in just her second MMA bout. The Floridian debuted for Crowbar MMA in September when she upset reigning SNMMA Women’s Flyweight Champion Catia Vitoria by way of a dominant Unanimous Decision in a non-title bout at 125 pounds. Ansaroff will remain at that weight for the fight with Esparza, who makes her return to the division in hopes of handing Ansaroff her first career defeat while getting back on the winning track.

Crowbar MMA: “Winter Brawl” takes place on December 10th at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The event also features a second women’s bout between Carina “Beauty But The Beast” Damm and Cat “Alpha” Albert, as well as fights featuring UFC and TUF veterans Jesse “Kid Hercules” Forbes, Dane “Red Horse” Sayers and Steve “The Hooligan” Steinbeiss.