Reigning UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas will defend her 115-pound belt against former division titleholder Carla Esparza in the upcoming UFC 274 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event on Sat., May 7, 2022 inside Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
And she’ll do it as the -145 (20/29) betting favorite.
That’s according to the number crunchers over at BetOnline.ag, who pegged Esparza as the +125 (5/4) underdog. No doubt a betting line that close will open up once money starts trickling in for both fighters over the next few weeks, if not sooner.
Namajunas (11-4) and Esparza (18-6) first went to war in The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 Finale back in late 2014, a contest “Thug” lost by way of second-round submission. “Cookie Monster” would falter in her follow-up fight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk, part of a 3-4 run that nearly sent her out of title contention.
Then came a five-fight win streak and Esparza, 34, is right back in the thick of things.
Namajunas rebounded from her Esparza loss with three straight wins and now stands at 9-3 inside the Octagon. More importantly, the 29 year-old “Thug” has recorded knockout victories over the likes of Jedrzejczyk and Weili Zhang, among others, and currently sits at No. 3 in the women’s pound-for-pound rankings.
For the rest of the UFC 274 fight card and PPV lineup click here.