Carla Esparza is the first and NEW UFC Womens’ Strawweight Champion!
Rose opened up with some dynamic striking, but an overdedicated lunging knee led to an Esparza takedown. Rose got back up to her feet with no problem and proceeded to pick Esparza apart with methodical strikes. Rose changed levels, attacking the legs, body and head evenly. Esparza drove forward for a takedown and landed it, but again, Rose was able to get back to her feet with the greatest of ease.
Rose continued to throw leaping and spinning strikes which left her susceptible to takedowns by Esparza. Esparza, even though she was getting peppered up, was not afraid to drive forward and take her down. Rose is game off of her back but Esparza did a decent job at cutting off transitions and landing short shots.
Esparza made a great comeback in the second round. Realizing that she could take Rose down at will, she took her down and started to make Rose carry her bodyweight. By the end of the round, Rose was exausted and Esparza was able to transition easily. She started landing bombs with ten seconds remaining, but Rose gave up her back to further protect herself and guarantee a third round.
That third round did not last long as Esparza took Rose down again and found herself in great positioning to end the fight.
Esparza eventually transitioned to the back of Rose who tried to protect her neck. Esparza was persistent and strategic in her execution of the rear naked choke/neck crank and waited for an opportunity to present itself. Rose exposed her neck for single second and Esparza jumped on it.
Rose tried to fight off the submission, but eventually caved in and tapped.
Carla Esparza def. Rose Namajunas by way of Submission (RNC) 1:26 of Round 3