On Saturday, May 7, Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza meet for the second time, six and a half years after their first fight. The fight in question was fought for the inaugural UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship and Esparza won by submission. This time, they fight for the same time, but this time, it’s Namajunas who’s in the possession of the title.
She got ahold of the championship belt in 2021 and odds suggest she might be able to defend it. To see what we think is going to happen in the title bout, keep on reading our Rose Namajunas vs Carla Esparza preview.
Rose Namajunas vs Carla Esparza UFC 274 Odds
All odds are per FanDuel as of May 3.
Rose Namajunas-220Carla Esparza+176
Method of Victory
Rose Namajunas by decision+170Carla Esparza by decision+240Rose Namajunas by KO/TKO+440Carla Esparza by KO/TKO+850Rose Namajunas by submission+500Carla Esparza by submission+1500
Where and When to Watch
Date: Saturday, May 7Time: ~9:00 PM EDTLocation: Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZWatch: ESPN+
Rose Namajunas is Favored for a Reason
Namajunas is 11-4 since turning pro in 2013. After three fights in Invicta FC, she moved to the UFC, competing In the Ultimate Fighter where she reached the final of the UFC Women’s Strawweight where Esparza defeated her.
The loss didn’t discourage her. On the contrary, she then went on to win nine UFC fights, losing just two along the way. During her superb run, Namajunas got ahold of the UFC title on two occasions. First, she won the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship in 2017 after defeating Joanna Jedzejczyk by TKO.
She defended it once, against the same opponent, but then lost the title to Jessica Andrade in 2019. A year later, she got her revenge, beating Andrade by KO. The win, however, didn’t bring the title back to her. Instead, she had to wait another year for her chance.
It’s needless to say that she took her chance – in 2021, she defeated Zhang Weili by KO, winning the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship. She beat the same opponent in her first title defense. Her second title defense is on the program this Saturday. Namajunas is taking on a rival who’s responsible for one of her four defeats. Is it the time for her to exact her revenge against Esparza?
Carla Esparza Looking for Her Sixth Straight UFC Win
Esparza started her UFC journey in top gear, becoming the first-ever fighter to win the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship. However, over the years, her stats dropped, and her UFC record became tarnished.
Still, in 2022, she got herself another shot at the title. Esparza got her chance thanks to some pretty impressive performances in the last couple of fights. She’s on a surge of five straight wins, the most impressive of which was the win over Yan Xiaonan in May 2021. The fight saw Esparza win by TKO, which earned her first Performance of the Night bonus.
Rose Namajunas vs Carla Esparza Prediction
Esparza wouldn’t be given a title shot if she wasn’t a good fighter. Still, Namajunas does look better than her. It’s not going to be easy, but Namajunas should be able to defend her title on Saturday.
Pick: Rose Namajunas by decision