Carla Kristen Esparza (born October 10, 1987) is an American professional mixed martial artist who competes in the Strawweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Largely known for her grappling abilities, Esparza was the first UFC Strawweight Champion, the first Invicta FC Strawweight Champion, and was generally considered the best strawweight fighter in the world while holding each title. She earned the UFC championship by winning a 16-woman tournament that was televised on the reality series The Ultimate Fighter. She also competed in Bellator MMA's first women's tournament. As of April 16, 2019, she is #9 in the strawweight rankings.