Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza squared off in a women’s Strawweight contest earlier tonight (Sat., May 7, 2022) from inside Footprint Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. In a shockingly dull contest, Esparza regained her title.
The title fight began with an extended feeling out process. Seriously, there wasn’t a single strike landed in the first two-and-a-half minutes. Esparza broke that drought with a left hook, fortunately, and Namajunas stuck her foe with a jab in return. The dance resumed afterward, and exchanges were seldom.
In summary, the first five minutes were a whole lot of nothing.
Finally, Esparza committed to a single leg shot about a minute into the second, and she briefly gained top position. Namajunas immediately popped though and returned to her movement. Esparza landed a glancing left at about the midway point in the round — the ninth total strike of the fight. Namajunas eventually answered with a left straight. The crowd began doing the wave ... and with that, ten minutes were gone.
Namajunas flicked a few more jabs at the start of the third, although they didn’t land. Esparza landed a kick off a failed takedown. Then, she scored her first true takedown of the fight, but again, Namajunas popped up instantly. Esparza found another left, as well as a right over the top. Namajunas stuck a little uppercut, then Esparza tried to break dirty off a failed shot again.
15 minutes into the contest, zero significant action had occurred.
Esparza landed a very brief takedown, attempted to take the back and then fell off. That’s all that happened through the first two minutes of round four. Esparza landed a decent left over the top at the break of a clinch. Namajunas landed a nice counter right hand. Esparza shot in, landed a takedown, and actually held control for a brief moment. Namajunas still worked up quickly and answered with a nice right.
With five minutes remaining, nobody had any f—king idea who was winning on the scorecards. Did the remaining round clarify anything? Not really, when they traded occasional single shots to no real effect. Namajunas landed a takedown in the closing seconds of the round then raised her hands victoriously.
Someone had to be named the victor, and two of the three judges awarded Carla Esparza the win. Let’s leave it at that!
Result: Carla Esparza defeats Rose Namajunas via split-decision - WATCH HIGHLIGHTS!
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