Carla Esparza

Carla Esparza reclaims title, Rose Namajunas gun shy at UFC 274

Carla Esparza recaptures UFC gold

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us tonight, May 7, 2022, for UFC 274, going down live from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Headlining the event is a UFC lightweight championship bout between champion Charles Oliveira and former interim champion Justin Gaethje. Unfortunately, Oliveira missed weight by .5 lbs and has been forced to vacate his championship.

Only Gaethje will be eligible to win the title tonight.

Co-headlining the event is a UFC strawweight championship rematch between current champion Rose Namajunas and former champion Carla Esparza. These two met in their UFC debuts, opposing one another, with Esparza the victor.

Now they find themselves in a rematch for that same belt here at UFC 274.

Namajunas is 3-0 in rematches, and Esparza comes in on a five-fight win streak.

Continue reading to see how this championship rematch went down:

Official Result: Carla Esparza def. Rose Namajunas via split decision (47-48, 49-46, 48-47)

The first round is very much a feeling out process, and it’s nothing like their first fight.

Namajunas came out throwing all sorts of kicks the first time around, due to her Taekwondo background and having just three professional mixed martial arts fights at the time. Those kicks led to easy takedowns for Esparza.

This time around Namajunas refrains from them altogether and instead dictates the range with her hands, though she hasn’t thrown much yet.

Round two is more of the same; Namajunas controlling the distance with the very few punches she’s throwing, and no offense from Esparza aside from occasional leg kicks. Esparza did attempt a single leg that she came very close to securing, but was unable to.

This still has yet to turn into a fight.

Round three isn’t all that much different either.

Esparza shoots on a number of takedowns in the middle stretch though and secures one for a literal split second, before the champion uses a whizzer to get back up, the same whizzer she used to stuff Esparza’s shot in the second.

It appears Namajunas doesn’t want to plant her feet and throw in fear of being taken down.

But she’s stuffing every attempt, and though there isn’t much going on, she is dictating the fight with her superior footwork and occasional punches. Esparza can’t touch her.

Esparza starts out the fourth round with a takedown, and momentarily takes Namajunas’ back before she’s shook off.

Namajunas looks to be in tune and on point tonight, it’s just a shame she isn’t truly showing it.

She’s quick, her feet are where they need to be at all times, what punches she is throwing are working, but she just isn’t committing to anything. It would appear that she’s up 3-1 or 4-0, but with this kind of fight, it’s tough to say.

Namajunas lands a couple nice right hands in the fifth as well, and begins to throw some kicks, but it’s something that would’ve served her well earlier on. She finishes the fight double legging Esparza to the mat.

This fight was like Anderson Silva vs Demian Maia or Thales Leites, or Tyron Woodley vs Demian Maia or Stephen Thompson II.

Though Namajunas did merely nothing, she did control the majority of this fight. It’s hard to agree with this decision, but the judges have been absolutely all over the place tonight.

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