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‘Something New’: UFC’s Carla Esparza weds a week after winning title fight

UFC women's strawweight champion Carla Esparza, 34, wears her wedding dress at Jeffrey Open Space Trail on May 11.
UFC women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza, 34, wears her wedding dress as she poses with her title belt at Jeffrey Open Space Trail on May 11 in Irvine.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Mixed martial artist Carla Esparza is enjoying a marital bliss unlike any other. A week before tying the knot with husband Matthew Lomeli, she stepped in the octagon to co-headline UFC 274 in Phoenix. Esparza won a split decision against Rose Namajunas to regain the women’s strawweight title that she previously held as the division’s inaugural champion in 2014.

The victory is the Irvine cage fighter’s sixth in a row.

And new! Esparza hoists her strawweight championship belt high after a split decision victory over Rose Namajunas at UCF 274.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Esparza got the call about the rematch in March, the day after she sent wedding invitations in the mail. Esparza accepted the fight without hesitation but briefly considered postponing her wedding. A conversation with Lomeli, who works as a physician, reassured her to keep everything as planned so as to focus on the title bout.

Esparza is at the top of the UFC's women's strawweight division once more.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

“Talk about an awesome accessory piece,” Esparza told TimesOC about the prospects of bringing the belt back home in time for the wedding.

And she did just that!

Here comes the champ, all dressed in white.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer )

Leaving the fight largely unscathed, especially without any cuts or swelling to her face, Esparza walked down the aisle and exchanged wedding vows with Lomeli during a Saturday evening ceremony in Dana Point.

She wore the strawweight belt around the waistline of her dress.

The newlywed couple will head to Bora Bora next for their honeymoon.

Irvine's Esparza is the two-time UFC strawweight champion.
Irvine’s Esparza is the two-time UFC strawweight champion.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

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