The prelims for the TUF 20 Finale are over, so now we move to the main card and the strawweight championship fight between Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza.
Randa Markos vs. Jessica Penne
Markos lands a stiff jab to begin the fight but Penne throws her to the mat. Penne passes into full mount. Markos almost gets back to her feet but Penne tosses her back to the ground. Penne moves into full mount again, starts throwing shots, but Markos scrambles out. Nicely done. Markos is working from the top position and throws a couple of kicks to Penne’s legs. The latter counters with a couple of up kicks. Wow. Penne slaps on a triangle choke. Markos defends and now Penne is looking for the arm bar. Markos works her way out but in the ensuing action, winds up on her back. Some pretty sweet action here folks. Round ends.
Round 2: Markos is bloodied up a bit. The latter throws a nice Superman Punch but it’s blocked. Markos catches a kick attempt and trips Penne to the ground. Penne gets back up. Markos is winging right hooks but isn’t landing them flush. Markos flurries in with punches. Markos cracks Penne with a right hand but Penne keeps moving forward. Markos trips Penne to the ground once again and moves into full mount. Penne is working her way out and takes top position. Penne lands some shots from above and the round ends.
Round 3: Markos throws a couple of spinning backfists to begin the round. Wow. She follows up with a spinning kick. Penne keeps moving forward. Another spinning backfist from Markos. Penne counters with a right. Markos plants an uppercut. Markos flurries in but Penne defends well. Penne shoots in and gets the takedown. Penne works her way to sidemount and throws on a rear-naked-choke. Markos defends. Penne is still on top but Markos locks her up in an inverted triangle-choke. Round ends.
Jessica Penne def. Randa Markos via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Yancy Medeiros vs. Joe Proctor
Medeiros wings a spinning back kick to start the fight but Proctor counters with a heavy, leg kick of his own. Another hard kick from Proctor. And another leg kick from Proctor. Medeiros plants a thumping right hand that stuns Proctor. The latter throws a spinning back kick and swarms in, but Medeiros defends (and motions that he took a low blow). Proctor chucks a right hand and Medeiros waves him on. Proctor throws a spinning backfist that lands. Medeiros follows up with a spinning back kick to the body that crumbles Proctor to the mat. Wow. Medeiros throws on a guillotine choke and Proctor taps. Impressive win for Medeiros.
Yancy Medeiros def. Joe Proctor via submission (guillotine choke) R1, 4:37
Daron Cruickshank vs. K.J. Noons
Both lightweights are winging hard kicks and punches to begin the fight. Cruickshank pushes Noons back with an uppercut. Action is halted after Cruickshank takes an eye poke. Noons chucks a couple of hard lefts and Cruickshank goes in for the takedown. Noons works his way out. Cruickshank fires a spinning back kick that misses. Cruickshank follows up with a couple of punches, and a shot, but Noons gets back up. Cruickshank is throwing everything but the kitchen sink technique wise. Noons blasts in but Cruickshank steps away. Cruickshank tosses another head kick but Noons blocks it. The two continue to fire shots. Cruickshank gets a takedown right before the round ends.
Round 2: Cruickshank lands a knee to begin the round. Cruickshank says he got eye poked and referee John McCarthy stops the action. The lightweight’s left eye is bleeding as a result of the poke. Fight is called off after Cruickshank says he can’t see out of the eye. Brutal end to what was a great fight.
Daron Cruickshank vs. KJ Noon declared no contest (Cruickshank could not continue after eye poke) R2, 0:25
Charles Oliveira vs. Jeremy Stephens
Oliveira wings a shot to the body and goes for the clinch. Oliveira drops down and starts looking for an armbar. Stephens picks Oliveira up and slams him to the mat. Damn. Oliveira is still looking for the armbar. Oliveira punches Stephens a couple times to the head as he’s still looking for the submission. Stephens defends and Oliveira lets go. Stephens lands a few elbows from within Oliveira’s guard. Stephens stands up but Oliveira stays right on him. Stephens breaks free and fires off some punches. Stephens loads up on right but Oliveira blocks it. The latter throws a nice combo to finish off the round.
Round 2: Oliveira throws a few shots and goes in for a single leg. Stephens plants a series of elbows to Oliveira’s head, but gets taken down anyways. Oliveira passes and takes the featherweight’s back. Oliveira moves into an armbar attempt. Stephens is holding on for dear life. Wow. Stephens works his way out despite the fact his arm was completely extended. Stephens chucks down a right from above but Oliveira gets back up. Oliveira fires a knee and clinches up again. Olveira is setting a trap for a choke but Stephens rolls out of it. Oliveira has Stephens back once again, and yet again, he goes for an armbar. Stephens defends and throws a few shots from above as the round ends. Great scrap.
Round 3: Stephens throws a shot to the body and Oliveira shoots in. Stephens sprawls away. Oliveira changes levels again, shoots in for a takedown, but has to defend a kimura attempt. Stephens steps out. Oliveira throws a spinning back kick and shoots in again. Stephens is defends the first one but then gets taken down. Stephens work his way up and then lands a right hand from above. Referee Herb Dean stands them up. Oliveira continues to pursue Stephens and pushes him to the cage. Oliveira jumps guard but takes some elbows from above. Fight ends.
Charles Oliveira def. Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Carla Esparza vs. Rose Namajunas
This scrap is for the UFC’s inaugural strawweight championship. Namajunas comes charging out and takes the center of the Octagon. Namajunas clips Esparza with a left hand but gets taken down after attempting a head kick. Namajunas gets back to her feet. The latter fires off a leg kick and then a flying knee. Esparza bulldozes in for a takedown but can’t keep Namajunas down. Namajunas plants a right hand to the head of Esparza. Wow. Namajunas wings a spinning kick at the head of Esparza that misses. The latter shoots in and takes Namajunas down. Esparza lands a few shots from above but Namajunas gets back up. Esparza lands another takedown before the round ends.
Round 2: Namajunas comes out aggressively once again, throws a flying knee, but not long after, gets taken down again. Esparza lands a few elbows and punches from above, but proceeds to let Namajunas up. The latter attempts a takedown but winds up on the bottom. Esparza is throwing shots from above while trying to pass. Now Esparza passes into full mount and is punishing Namajunas with shots from above. Wow. Round ends as Namajunas gives up her back.
Round 3: Namajunas attempts a spinning backfist but Esparza counters with a takedown. Namajunas gives up her back and is taking shots from above. Esparza starts looking for the choke. How about that? Namajunas taps to the rear-naked-choke and Esparza is the new, strawweight champ.
Carla Esparza def. Rose Namajunas via submission (rear-naked-choke) R3, 1:26