After it was revealed that Rose Namajunas had advanced to the finals of TUF 20, there was a landslide of comments and rhetoric as how the strawweight is Ronda Rousey-esque.
Well, although there’s no denying that Namajunas is ridiculously talented and has the potential to be huge star, Carla Esparza proved to be too much for her last night.
If you missed the fight, Namajunas came out firing highlight reel strikes and looked great early on, but Esparza turned to her wrestling game and eventually took control of the fight. In round three, Esparza secured the strawweight title by tapping Namajunas out with rear-naked-choke.
Following the bout, here is what FOX Sport commentators and former light-heavyweight cham Rashad Evans had to say about the fight (quote via FOX Sports press release):
“I think Rose came in too flashy, throwing a lot of kicks. If you know Carla can take you down, I wouldn’t throw kicks and let her take me down.”
Evans certainly has a point, although it was fun to watch the show Namajunas put on during the early stages of the fight.
Bantamweight contender Miesha Tate was also on the FOX Sports panel, and here is some of what she had to say about the scrap:
“Carla’s top pressure was insane. She was relentless with the takedowns, which we anticipated and she was phenomenal. She was really good at pressuring in the guard. But she didn’t want to just stay in the guard. She forced Rose to be uncomfortable. Rose is a young fighter and will come back stronger. She’ll learn from this.”
It will be interesting to see how Namajunas looks in her next bout, and whether she can work her way back into a rematch with Esparza. Since Namajunas is only 22, clearly she has a lot of time to develop and improve her overall game.
The TUF 20 Finale went down at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.