Tag Archives: Rose Namajunas

Carla Esparza Takes Initial UFC Strawweight Crown

Esparza Courtesy UFC
Esparza Courtesy UFC

The former InvictaFC champion proved once again why she is meant to wear the gold.

Carla Esparza defeated Rose Namajunas to win the first ever UFC strawweight title at the Ultimate Fighter 20 finale in Las Vegas Friday.

Esparza (10-2) used her wrestling to control Namajunas on the ground and neutralized her BJJ. Esparza would get the back and sink in the rear naked choke at 1:26 in round 3. The win not only came with the belt and the title of “Ultimate Fighter 20 winner”, she also got “Performance of the Night” for the event.

Esparza’s only losses come by the retired Megumi Fujii and the current #1 Unified ranked Jessica Aguilar. It is expected the winner of Saturday’s fight between Claudia Gadelha and Joanna Jędrzejczyk will face Esparza in her first title defense.

The main card opener saw TUF 20 semi-finalists Jessica Penne and Randa Markos battle in what won “Fight of the Night”. Markos’s striking proved somewhat effective, but it was Penne’s ground game that proved the edge in what was a split decision.

Torres vs. Magana Courtesy UFC
Torres vs. Magana Courtesy UFC

In the other six fights:

  • Felice Herrig showed a skilled ground game against wrestler Lisa Ellis to get the armbar at 3:05 of round 2.
  • Heather Clark pressed the action and landed some nice boxing combinations in her unanimous decision win over Bec Rawlings.
  • Joanne Calderwood went to war against Korea’s Seo Hee Ham. Both had crisp striking and Muay Thai, but Calderwood’s length and height overwhelmed the former DEEP-JEWELS champion to give the Scotswoman the unanimous decision
  • Tecia Torres put on a striking clinic on Angela Magana to get the overwhelming unanimous decision win.
  • Aisling Daly proved her ground dominance once again as she got the armbar over Alex Chambers at 4:53 of round 1
  • On the night’s opener, Angela Hill used her vast Muay Thai experience and her new wrestling defense to take a unanimous decision over Emily Kagan.

You can read some great play by play of the event by MMA Rising here.

The TUF 20 Fight of the Season bonus went to Rose Namajunas and Joanne Calderwood. Namajunas and Randa Markos would take the Performance of the Season bonuses.

Watch the TUF 20 Weigh-ins Here at 4 p.m. pst/7 p.m. est

Ultimate Media DayThe conclusion of “The Ultimate Fighter 20” leads to eight fights including the crowning of the first ever UFC strawweight champion Friday night in Las Vegas.

The main event of the finale will see Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas square off for the initial 115 belt, plus the rest of the cast (expect Justine Kish) will be in action.

The event will also see the U.S. debut of former DEEP-JEWELS champion and Korea star Seo Hee Ham.

The fighters hit the scales at 4 p.m. pst/7 p.m. est and you can watch live below.

TUF 20 Finale Set – Esparza vs. Namajunas for the Belt Friday

namajunas esparza 01In what was an eventful and drama filled season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, we are set to crown the first ever UFC strawweight champion.

Former InvictaFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza and InvictaFC star Rose Namajunas will square off for the initial title Friday on the TUF 20 Finale live from Las Vegas on Fox Sports 1.

Esparza (9-2) looked impressive in her semi-final bout with former InvictaFC atomweight champion Jessica Penne. Esparza’s volume striking and takedowns were key in the three round battle, which saw Penne stand in the pocket and chase Esparza. All three judges gave Esparza 30-27 on the score cards.

Esparza’s road to the finals included a rear naked choke over Angela Hill, a majority decision win over Tecia Torres, and the unanimous decision over Penne.

Namajunas (2-1) got her second kimura win in the tournament to guarantee her spot in the finals. Namajunas defeated Randa Markos in the second semi-final using her BJJ skills from bottom to transition to a kimura to get the tap in round 1.

Namajunas’s road to the finals saw her submit all of her opponents, including a rear naked choke over Alex Chambers and a kimura over Joanne Calderwood.

Semi-finalists Jessica Penne and Randa Markos will square off as well on the TUF 20 Finale and will kick off the main card.

They also announced the match order of the rest of the fights Friday, with all but two of them airing on Fox Sports 1.

Here is the schedule for Friday

Fox Sports 1 Main Card (9 p.m. est/6 p.m. pst)

  • Main event – Carla Esparza vs. Rose Namajunas – initial strawweight title
  • Jessica Penne vs. Randa Markos

Fox Sports 1 Prelims (7 p.m. est/4 p.m. pst):

  • Felice Herrig vs. Lisa Ellis
  • Bec Rawlings vs. Heather Jo Clark
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Seo Hee Ham
  • Tecia Torres vs. Angela Magana

Fight Pass Prelims (6 p.m. est/3 p.m. pst):

  • Aisling Daly vs. Alex Chambers
  • Emily Kagan vs. Angela Hill

The MRS (WMMA & WBoxing News) December 5

Miscellaneous News

In action Wednesday:

  • In pro MMA at PeruFC, Mariana Moraes defeated Cristina Mejía by unanimous decision
  • In boxing in New York, New York, Heather Hardy defeated Elizabeth Anderson by unanimous decision.

In action Thursday at Circuito Team Nogueira in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Juliana Velasquez defeats Priscila de Souza by unanimous decision in a pro MMA bout. In amateur action, Karoline Martins defeated Nicole Ball by knockout.


At OneFC Friday morning, Ana Julaton defeated Walaa Abas by unanimous decision and  Jujeath Nagaowa defeated Tharoth Sam by TKO round 2.


Justino
Justino

Cyborg Justino has given up on going to 135 for now.

The InvictaFC featherweight stated to MMA Fighting her injury has delayed the cut and she is questioning if she can even make 135.

The plan is for Justino to defend her 145 title at InvictaFC’s 11th event in February. We are expecting an announcement Friday night during InvictaFC 10 on the location and opponent.


On Wednesday’s episode of TUF 20, two fighters advanced to set the semi-finals.

Former InvictaFC champion Carla Esparza defeated Tecia Torres in a grudge match. Esparza’s wrestling is what gave her the edge in the majority decision win. Esparza will face another former InvictaFC champion in Jessica Penne in the semi-finals.

The other semi-final saw Rose Namajunas submit Joanne Calderwood by kimura. Namajunas used her bjj skills to attack Calderwood. Calderwood tried to make up ground with strikes in round two, but Namajunas was able to get the kimura on the ground to get tap. This was the first time Calderwood was submitted in an MMA competition. Namajunas will face Randa Markos in the semi-finals.

You can read MMA Rising’s accounts of the matches here.

Both semi-finals will air this coming Wednesday on Fox Sports 1 with the finals the following Friday.

You can see six of the 8 bouts set for the TUF 20 finale here.


Awakening Fights are looking for nominees for the WMMA Awards.

The female fighting site is asking fans for three nominees per category by December 10, and will open voting soon after.

You can enter your picks here.


You can add Julia Jones versus Alyssa Garcia to the four other matches announced for Rock Xtrreme Combat in Texas January 10th.


V3 has announce an amateur bantamweight title match in Memphis for January 24 pitting two top amateur prospects.

We have us a challenger for the undisputed V3 female champ, Amberlynn Orr (8-1) will take on Alyssa Vasquez (6-4).

It will most likely be streamed and we will have more info closer to the event.


Gina Carano made a visit to the CSA gym in Dublin, CA this past week. CSA is home gym to Alexis Davis, Zoila Gurgel, and Miriam Nakamoto among others. She was just visiting there and not there to train, at least no seriously.

You can see a pic of her and Frausto here.


On the podcast Sunday at 1 p.m. pst/4 p.m. est, we will talk to InvictaFC’s Marion Reneau, who was supposed to be fighting Friday night. We will review the action from the card, and her aspirations in the promotion.

You can listen here live on Sunday.


Rumors

Rose Namajunas has brought in RFA star Kyra Batara into training camp. Batara, an atomweight star, comes from a solid wrestling background. (Hint hint!)


We should be expecting some female bout announcements in the next few weeks from the UFC. Holly Holm says she will be ready to go come February, and TUF 18 winner Juliana Pena in March.


Sarah Kaufman is now challenging Jessica Andrade to a fight her next.


Scheduled Bouts

Pro MMA

Friday night is InvictaFC 10 on UFC Fight Pass. Stream starts at 6 p.m. pst/9 p.m. est. You can see our preview of the card here.


ashlee smiht pennington weigh inOn Saturday, undefeated Ashlee Evans-Smith will make her UFC debut taking on Raquel Pennington in Las Vegas. Both Smith (135.5) and Pennington (136) made weight.

Smith (3-0) won the CSA featherweight tournament last year and soon signed to the World Series of Fighting. She got the TKO over Marciea Allen in June and was waiting for another fight. She was released from the WSOF just as the UFC offer came around.

TUF 18 vet Pennington (4-4) is coming off a close loss to Jessica Andrade this past March. Pennington won her official UFC debut with a decision over Roxanne Modafferi.

The fight will kick off the UFC televised prelims on Fox Sports 1.


MMA Super Heroes will close its year with two female bouts.

Tournament champion Renata Baldan is lookig to recover from her first loss as she takes on Luciana Treze. Also, Karina Santana de Oliveira takes on Mariana Leonardo in a flyweight bout.


In other pro bouts:

  • At Roshambo in Australia, Megan Anderson takes on Zoie Shreiweis
  • Ariel Beck faces Angela Hayes at Fightforce on Butte, MT
  • At Maringá Combat in Maringa, Parana, Brazil, Hevellyn Moura battles Hilana Rezende
  • Jessica Zomchik fights Stacey Sigala at Gladiators of the Cage in Pittsburgh, PA. In amateur action, Jena Baldwin takes on Jamie Driver and Melissa Gasdick faces Sarah Click

Ammy MMA

In amateur MMA:

  • At Conflict MMA in Hardeeville, SC, Jenna Fox faces Annie DeCresente
  • At SGB in Ireland, Jaye Hayes battles Sinead Kavanagh
  • In a pair of bouts at British Challenge MMA in Colchester, Essex, England, Jaye Haynes fights Sinead Kavanagh and Wendy McKenna faces Ameesha Bhudia (125)
  • At Cowboy Extreme Fighting in San Antonio, Texas, Dominique Gallegher-Gonzales takes on Stephanie Builderback and Laurie Ashby battles Brandi Narvaez (115)
  • In a pair of bouts at Rumble at the Roseland in Portland, OR, Chun Yang fights Hailea Brooks and Kalyn Schwartz takes on Lisa Spangler 
  • Yumi Matsumoto faces Danielle Alfapada at King of the Cage in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • At Matrix Fights in Philadelphia, PA, Serena DeJesus battles Amanda Kramny
  • Victoria Franco fights Makana Clemons at Kingdom 3 in Houston, TX

Boxing

Undefeated Nicole Wesner will look for her first world titles as she takes on Gina Chamie for the vacant WIBF and vacant WBF lightweight title in Vienna, Austria.

Wesbner (8-0) has only started as a pro two years ago, but has stayed active on her run to a title match. Chamie is the former WBC Youth lightweight title holder.


WBC World flyweight champion Shindo Go will look to defend her title for the third time as she takes on Arely Mucino in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico.

Go (14-2) is on a four fight win streak and has 9 KOs to her credit. She has yet to be stopped. Mucino (20-2) if the former interim WBA and IBF World flyweight champion .


 

In Sonora, Mexico, Jackie Nava will defend her WBC and WBA super bantamweight title against Sayda Mosquera.

Nava (30-4) won her past seven fights, gaining the belts along the way. Undefeated  Sayda Mosquera (7-0) is the current WBC Latino female bantamweight champion


In Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, Sonya Lamonakis and Carlette Ewell will fight in a rematch for the vacant IBO World heavyweight title. The two faced each other in 2012 and fought to a draw.

Lamonakis (9-1-2) is coming off back to back wins and is the current New York State heavyweight title. Ewell (15-7-1) is returning after a two year absence since her draw with Ewell.


Karine Rinaldo will defend her EBU female super bantamweight title against Nevenka Mikulic in  Corse-du-Sud, France.

Rinaldo (10-1-1) won the vacant title this past June with a TKO win over Marianna Gulyas. Mikulic (4-2-1) has finished in all but one of wins.


In other boxing bouts:

  • In a pair of bouts in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, Vanesa del Valle Calderon takes on Valeria Almiron and Valeria Vanesa Gramajo faces Natalia Vanesa Lopez
  • Shelly Gibson battles Simone Hoyte in Georgetown, Guyana
  • In Emilia Romagna, Italy, Simona Galassi fights Evgeniya Zablotskaya
  • In a pair of bouts in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Jelena Mrdjenovich dukes it out with Pasa Malagic and Kandi Wyatt takes on Lita Mae Button
  • Sabrina Giuliani faces Farida El Hadrati in Puy-de-Dôme, France
  • In Differdange, Luxembourg, Caroline Thea Andre battles Gabriella Vetro

TUF 20 Teams and First Round Matches

Courtesy Fox Sports
Courtesy Fox Sports

After an eventful promotional week for TUF 20, several sites are reporting the teams and opening round matches for the show, which will have its two hour premier Wednesday on Fox Sports 1.

Team Pettis (Green) : Alex Chambers, Felice Herrig, Carla Esparza, Joanne Calderwood, Ais Daly, Randa Markos Thomas, Jessica Penne, and Justine Kish

Team Melendez (Purple): Rose Namajunas, Heather Clark, Emily Kagan, Angela Magana, Tecia Torres, Lisa Ellis, Angela Hill, and Bec Rawlings.


After the teams were selected, they seeded the competitors and had each match have a representative from each time. The opening round matches contain two epic rematches – Penne vs. Ellis and Clark vs. Herrig. Here is the complete list:

  • Rose Namajunas vs. Alex Chambers
  • Heather Clark vs. Felice Herrig
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Emily Peters Kagan
  • Aisling Daly vs. Angela Magana
  • Tecia Torres vs. Randa Markos Thomas
  • Jessica Penne vs. Lisa Ellis
  • Carla KristenEsparza vs. Angela Hill
  • Justine Kish vs. Bec Rawlings

The start of the season begins Wednesday oin Fox Sports 1.