We had a great night of fights on Saturday at UFC Vegas 27, where No. 4 ranked former champions took on No. 3 ranked contenders in the main and co-main events.
We saw Rob Font defeat former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt quite handily after five rounds, and former Invicta & UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza defeated No. 3 ranked Yan Xiaonan.
This was one of the most impressive performances of Esparza’s entire career, and her first octagon finish since her promotional debut, where she won The Ultimate Fighter 20, along with the UFC women’s strawweight championship by submitting (rear naked choke) Rose Namajunas.
That was back in 2014, and she hadn’t finished anyone since. She was however coming into the bout on a four-fight win streak, the longest of her UFC career, and she extended that to five with this TKO victory on Saturday.
Now that she’s finished the No. 3 contender in the world, that’s where a rematch with newly crowned champion Rose Namajunas comes in. Namajunas was the favorite going into their first contest, and she’ll probably be the favorite going into this one.
Namajunas just defeated Weili Zhang (21-1) via KO (head kick & punches) 78 seconds into round one to reclaim her throne she lost to Jessica Andrade in 2019. She also avenged that defeat to Andrade last year before winning the title this year.
‘Thug Rose’ actually secured first round knockouts over two absolute legends of the sport to win the title both times she won it. Joanna Jedrzejczyk was a dominant, undefeated (14-0) force, and Namajunas made it look easy going 2-0 against her.
Now that they’re both coming off knockout finishes, one’s the champion, one’s the rightful No. 2 contender, it may be time for this rematch to go down. The only other option is a rematch between Namajunas and Zhang.
With the way that fight ended, as well Zhang’s own fight with Jedrzejczyk just over a year ago, she doesn’t need that right now. Not to mention, their fight wasn’t close. In the case of Rose Namajunas versus Carla Esparza II, Esparza defeated Namajunas in their first outing.
There’s a much deeper reason to make this fight next.
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.