Carla Esparza Defeats Rose Namajunas for Strawweight Title
Updated: May 16, 2022
In what was one of the most chaotic title nights in UFC history between two of some of the best women UFC fighters, Carla Esparza (19-6), and Rose Namajunas (11-5) for the strawweight title in which Esparza upset the defending strawweight champion in Namajunas by a small margin of votes by two judges that voted for Esparza 49-46 and 48-47 respectively. According to UFC stats, Namajunas was able to land 38 strikes in the five-round fight, showing her shooting pistols for hands.
On the other hand, Esparza landed 30 hits on Namajunas in what was a fight in which neither woman seemed to be able to pull away as the clear cut favorite of the match for the coveted strawweight title. Both fighters looked timid in the match, seeming to lack confidence in their skill sets. Namajunas was great at defending herself from Esparza’s attempts to take her down, with Esparza marching toward her with caution and being ineffective in her attempts to seal the victory.
One of Namajuna's coaches, Trevor Wittman, stated how he wanted her to be more engaged after the third round, and wanted her to avoid Esparza’s takedowns. This is not the first time these two have been in the heat of battle, as they faced each other back in 2014 in which Esparza was victorious in taking down Namajunas.
However that didn’t happen this time, as neither woman was able to fully knockout the other. But, after the match, Esparza stated, "You never want to be a part of a fight like that, I went out there and did my best and tried to come forward. I got the win, that's what counts."
Esparza, 34, now extends her win streak to six overall, and is now 2-0 over Namajunas in a fight that will be remembered as one of the most underwhelming title fights in UFC history. Will these two ever face off again for a third time in their careers to make up for a forgettable match? We will have to wait and see.