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Esparza: Marina Rodriguez has ‘proven herself,’ deserves title shot more than Zhang Weili

Carla Esparza knows Zhang Weili was declared the No. 1 contender in their division after her win over Joanna Ju0119drzejczyk at UFC 275 earlier this month. But the newly crowned UFC strawweight champion sees someone else as more deserving of that declaration: Marina Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is on a four-fight win streak with a finish of Amanda Ribas and decisions against Michelle Waterson and Mackenzie Dern among her highlights. The Brazilian added another win to her resume with a split decision over Yan Xiaonan at UFC 272 this past March and went on to campaign for a championship opportunity.