Carla Esparza repeated her 2014 victory over Rose Namajunas in the UFC 274 co-main event, regaining the UFC strawweight title via split decision after 25 minutes.
Carla Esparza’s scores were 49-46, 48-47, and 47-48
The first frame was a battle of nerves, with both fighters cautiously looking for an opening to exploit, but neither pressed the action. Carla Esparza made her first move in round two, but Namajunas thwarted her takedown attempt, marking the only significant action in another round that didn’t please the crowd.
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To begin round three, Namajunas began throwing more punches, to which Carla Esparza responded with a brief takedown from which the champion immediately arose. The first two rounds were repeated because neither fighter launched a sustained offensive attack. Esparza got another takedown in the second minute of round four, but Namajunas scrambled back to her feet.
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However, there was little follow-up aggression from the champion, and she grounded again with less than 90 seconds remaining. Namajunas landed a right hand on the way up this time, but Carla Esparza Esparza handled it well. The fifth round saw a few exchanges, with each fighter getting a shot or two in, but there was no sustained action, and the crowd let them know it. Namajunas did win the fight with a takedown in the final seconds, but it was insufficient to save her title.
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