UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is expected to make her title defense against the former strawweight champion Carla Esparza at UFC 274. The event takes place on May 7 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, and Rose Namajunas vs Carla Esparza 2 will be the co-main event. UFC 274 card will be headlined by the lightweight championship fight between the reigning champion Charles Oliveira against the No.1 contender, Justin Gaethje. Also on the card, Michael Chandler will be taking on the lightweight legend, Tony Ferguson in a three-round battle. Rose vs Carla fight is not yet official but the promotion is keen on making this fight a done deal as the card is not perfectly shaped yet.
The fight between the two has been seven years in the making as they first fought in 2014. In December 2013, it was announced that Carla Esparza was signed by the UFC along with 10 other strawweight fighters including Rose, to compete on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter, which would crown the first-ever UFC Strawweight Champion.
Both Carla and Rose fought their way through the entire tournament and finally met in the finals of the tournament. The duo faced each other in the finals of the tournament on December 12, 2014. In the third round of the fight, Carla took the back of Rose and submitted her via rare naked choke to become the first-ever women’s strawweight champion.
After suffering that loss, Rose Namajunas had to fight her way back to the top of the women’s strawweight division and it took her three years to get her next title shot. She fought Joanna at UFC 217 and won the fight via KO in the first round. She then went on to rematch Joanna and win that fight via decision. She lost her next fight against Jessica Andrade which ended her title reign. Rose Namajunas began her second title reign after defeating Weili Zhang. She fought her in a rematch and won that fight via decision too. Now she is all set to rematch Carla and avenge her loss.
After defeating Rose Namajunas for the title, In her first title defense, Carla Esparza faced Joanna Jedrzejczyk on March 14, 2015, at UFC 185. She lost her title via TKO in the second round. Carla Esparza is now riding an amazing 5 fight winning streak. Carla Esparza in her last fight faces Yan Xiaonan on May 22, 2021, at UFC Fight Night 188. She won the bout via TKO.
- Rose Namajunas to defend strawweight title against Carla Esparza at UFC 274
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