Carla Esparza had to survive being rocked and close to submitted by Alexa Grasso on her way to a majority decision win tonight at UFC Fight night 159.
Esparza keeping her distance. Grasso comes forward with punches and Esparza follows suit. Esparza wades in and misses with a loaded up punch and eats a counter.
Punches to set up a kick from Esparza as Grasso lands on the counter. Nice straight right from Esparza. Exchange of punches in close.
Jab for Grasso. Leg kick for Esparza, counter punch over the top from Grasso. Esparza in on a takedown attempt and lands it, but Grasso looks to reverse and almost does so.
Esparza ends up in top regardless though and is now securely in Grasso’s closed guard. However, Grasso finds some space and kicks off Esparza to stand back up.
Grasso throwing Esparza to the mat and as she’s coming back up goes for a kick that just whistles past her.
Grasso presses Esparza into the cage, but Esparza quickly reverses and starts hunting for a takedown while landing a couple of knees to the legs.
Grasso reverses her though. Head and arm throw from Esparza though brings her down. However, Grasso almost has her back and Esparza has to be careful. In the end Esparza scrambles back up and they end the round with Grasso looking to strike.
Esparza tries for a superman punch, but Grasso lands instead with punches on the counter.
Esparza with a takedown in the center of the Octagon. She’s in Grasso’s close guard again here with almost a full round to work.
Not too much work for Esparza for now as she respects Grasso’s submission game. Esparza with a little body work, but mostly just staying tight to her opponent on top.
Short punches to the head from Esparza. Grasso trying to land strikes from her back now. Elbow strkes land for Esparza.
Esparza opts to change position and takes the back momentarily, but then Grasso sweeps on top. Esparza quickly back to wrestling though and then stands.
Big punch lands for Grasso. She looks for more. Esparza swinging back now. Esparza with a nice trip takedown in the final minute.
Grasso almost on the verge of setting up a submission as the round ends.
Nice one-two counter from Grasso as Esparza attempts a kick that misses. Right hand connects for Esparza. Another good one-two for Grasso. Esparza is wobbling here and Grasso presses forward, but tries for a head kick and falls to the mat. Esparza wobbles again as Grasso gets back up.
However, rather than continuing to press for the finish, Grasso stalks Esparza slowly and doesn’t let her hands go. Puzzling strategy from her and Esparza is regaining her bearings.
Esparza attempting a takedown and it’s stuffed well. Again she tries and Grasso staying upright for now, but not for much longer as Esparza manages to fight hard to get on top on the mat.
Grasso trying for a submission immediately, but Esparza escapes. Now Grasso is going for an armbar and it looks tight. Esparza is barely hanging on here as her arm is cranked, but she somehow manages to tough it out and gets back to top control.
Final minute of the fight with Esparza in Grasso’s closed guard. Grasso trying for an omaplata, but nothing doing.
Final 30 seconds and Grasso is back on her feet. They start slugging and Esparza lands. however then Grasso comes with straight lefts and right and is landing hard and Esparza’s nose begans flowing with blood as the round comes to a close.
There’s a delay with the decision, but here it comes. One judge scores it as a draw, but the other two have it in Esparza’s favor and that earns her a majority decision win.