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Esparza Returns at UFC 197

Sidelined by injury since March of 2015, former strawweight world champion Carla Esparza will make her return to the Octagon on April 23, as she steps in for the injured Jessica Aguilar against Juliana Lima on the UFC 197 card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

UFC 197 is headlined by the light heavyweight championship rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones and the flyweight title fight pitting Demetrious Johnson against Henry Cejudo.

Winner of six of her last seven bouts, a string that includes a win over Rose Namajunas that earned her the UFC's first 115-pound title in December of 2014, California's Esparza has been waiting to return since healing up a shoulder injury that kept her out of action after her UFC 185 loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Now she gets her wish against Brazil's Lima, who has scored back-to-back wins over Nina Ansaroff and Ericka Almeida.

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