Undefeated Marina Rodriguez fought Carla Esparza on the main card of UFC’s “Fight Night” on Saturday. Here’s how the strawweight bout went.
Bout 12: Carla Esparza (16-6) vs. Marina Rodriguez (12-0-2) (Strawweight)
Esparza got a takedown a minute into the fight, getting into full guard immediately. Esparza held the position for many minutes. Elbows that Rodriguez threw from bottom position cut Esparza, making her bleed quite a bit starting in the fourth minute. Esparza moved to her back to try for a leg hold of some sort. Rodriguez stood up, causing Esparza to grab an ankle to take her back down. They stood up with 30 seconds left. Rodriguez connected with a few punches before Esparza shot for another takedown. Rodriguez threw a flurry of elbows at the end of the round while resisting a takedown attempt.
The swelling around Esparza’s left eyebrow was large by the time the second round started. Esparza got a takedown in the second minute of the round, getting into full mount on top. In the final 30 seconds of the round, Esparza leaned back to try for an ankle lock. Rodriguez escaped, landing some hammerfist punches to the face of Esparza. As Rodriguez was getting up, Esparza landed two upkicks that were illegal since Esparza was grounded.
Esparza got a takedown in the second minute of the fight. On the knees, Esparza landed a few punches to the head of Rodriguez. They got up shortly after, where Esparza got a double leg takedown, landing in half guard. Rodriguez tried for a triangle choke in the fourth minute from the bottom, although Esparza was able to escape. They stood up again in the final 20 seconds. Esparza finished the fight with one more takedown, moving into full mount before the horn. In the end, a split decision went to Esparza (29-28 Rodriguez, 29-28 Esparza & 30-27 Esparza).
RESULT: Carla Esparza def. Marina Rodriguez via Decision, Split
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