For the first time in the history of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), the tournament held throughout the season, this one the 20th in the reality show's history, culminated in a title fight to crown the first ever strawweight women's champion in UFC history at tonight's (Dec. 11, 2014) TUF 20 Finale in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The match-up: Rose Namajunas (who finished all three of her fights while in the house) vs. Carla Esparza (who finished just one but came in sporting a 10-2 record with far more experience).
Right way, Rose rushed to her opponent and started firing away with punches and kicks. She was eager to engage and Esparza was just as eager to return fire. She did, but just enough to slow the action down and cut down Namajunas' furious pace.
Rose was throwing a lot of kicks, applying pressure from distance and maintaining control of the center of the cage. Still, Esparza was able to snag a late takedown just as the first round was ending.
Namajunas was strong from distance but she had nothing to offer when Esparza got in tight and forced takedowns. Rose took a beating from underneath, eating over 50 ground strikes within the first two rounds, the second of which closed with Carla in full mount raining down punches while Rose covered up and survived to the horn.
Esparza continued her assault in the third, quickly earning another takedown before taking Rose's back. It didn't take long for her to lock on a rear naked choke.
Rose tapped and Carla Esparza is your new Ultimate Fighter and UFC strawweight champion.
"Oh my gosh, this is the most amazing, unreal feeling I've ever had in my life," Esparza said in the post-fight interview.
Who's coming for her?
For complete TUF 20 Finale results and coverage of every match on the card click here.