UFC 274 goes down this weekend at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. In the co-main event, Rose Namajunas puts her strawweight title on the line in a rematch with Carla Esparza.
Namajunas is currently riding a three right winning streak, with back-to-back wins over Zhang Weili. Whereas Esparza is currently on a five fight winning streak, with her most recent victory coming against Yan Xiaonan. The two fought for the first time at TUF 20, where ‘Cookie Monster’ submitted ‘Thug’ Rose in the third round to win the inaugural 115 pound title.
UFC 274 Analysis And Prediction
Not many people are giving Esparza much of a chance in this one, but she certainly has the skills to make things very tricky for the champion, who’s undoubtedly the best strawweight on the planet right now. When the two first fought, Namajunas was more of a grappler, but she’s one of the best strikers in the division now and is a very well-rounded fighter. Esparza is the best wrestler in the division, but she has also made improvements to her striking game over the past few years.
Namajunas certainly has the edge on the feet. She’s faster, lengthier, and more technical and will outstrike her opponent on the feet with considerable ease but Esparza is a tough cookie to crack and her constant takedown attempts are going to make the fight very interesting. Not only does Esparza have great takedowns, she also does a great job of controlling her opponents. Namajunas could get taken down and lose a round or two, but she’s very solid off her back.
Statistically, Namajunas has better offence as she lands four significant strikes per minute on average, whereas Esparza lands a little over two. Namajunas absorbs close to four significant strikes per minute, whereas Esparza absorbs close to three.
Expect a competitive fight between the two strawweights, with Namajunas taking home a hard fought unanimous decision win.
Prediction: Rose Namajunas by decision
Rose Namajunas (-220)
Carla Esparza (+180)
Who do you think will win the strawweight title fight between Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza?