UFC 274 Results, Highlights: Carla Esparza Claims Strawweight Title With Decision Over Rose Namajunas

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Rose Namajunas joined UFC 274 not only to retain her strawweight title but also to avenge a loss to Carla Esparza in 2014. What was on paper an intriguing grudge match between two great fighters ended up being one of the most boring fights in UFC history, with neither woman doing much in five rounds before Esparza earned the split decision win and more than seven UFC -Champion became years after losing the title.

To say little happened in combat would be an understatement. By the end of five rounds, the two women had unofficially scored fewer than 70 combined punches.

From the first few seconds, much of the fight was spent with the two women standing at a distance, faking and occasionally throwing punches from a distance they had no chance of landing. The lack of action caused the crowd to boo at first before turning to complete indifference.

The deciding factor in the fight was Esparza’s takedowns, few of which she landed and never kept Namajunas on the canvas for any length of time. Still, the takedowns were a display of aggression that was more than Namajunas commanded at any point in the fight.

When the official scorecards were read, they were 48-47 and 49-46 in favor of Esparza, with a judge awarding the fight to Namajunas with a score of 47-48. The crowd booed before, during and after the decision was read.

“You never know what’s going to happen with the judges,” Esparza said after the fight. “But I felt like I was the aggressor in the fight and I went after him and went after him.”

The UFC Namajunas are unlikely to have a rematch anytime soon as the fight has been compared to some of the worst in UFC history. While Namajunas seemed shocked, Esparza balanced joy and disappointment at the performance.

“You never want to be part of a fight like that,” said the new champion.

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Justin Scacco

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