It’s the twelfth episode of the all-female season TUF 20 in which the strawweight champion will be determined. These fights are the semi-finals.
It’s Carla Esparza vs Jessica Penne and Rose Namajunas vs Randa Markos for the opportunity to win the strawweight title on Friday.
Felice says that she doesn’t want to see Carla and Jessica fight because all three are friends. They trained at the same time, but at different ends of the gym.
Carla Esparza Vs Jessica Penne
Lots of standup fighting in the first. As you’d expect based on the size differential, Esparza was quick and short and trying to lead exchanges and get out of there. Penne was a bit more plodding and predictable, trying to use her long reach to land bigger punches. Esparza got a takedown late in the round.
Esparza has a mouse under her right eye and Penne’s eyes have redness too. These women aren’t into blocking punches or moving their heads. Second round was a replica of the first; lots of punches to the face, Esparza leading the exchanges, and a takedown by Esparza to help win the round.
Penne didn’t change up anything. She kept plodding forward and took so many punches to the face. Esparza had great accuracy with her punches. Penne’s head movement was nil. Esparza got another takedown late.
Winner: Carla Esparza by way of unanimous decision
Esparza said it was tough because she was expected to get to the finals, but didn’t know if she could do it herself.
Namajunas’s strategy is to vary her strikes and make it so Markos has to take desperate shots that she can see coming a mile away. Markos wants to keep it very basic and stay within her game plan.
Randa Markos vs Rose Namajunas
Rose came out like Sugar Ray Leonard, trying to get Markos to flinch with her footwork. Markos decided to just bull rush her with a barrage of punches and they ended up in a clinch. She went for the takedown, but Namajunas ended up on top. On the ground, Namajunas was going for submissions, while Markos was more so trying to get top position or side control. Namajunas had a kimura attempt from the bottom and Anthony Pettis told Markos that she couldn’t get it from the position they were in, which was side control with Markos on top. But Namajunas was able to turn Markos and sink in the kimura. It was pretty sick.
Winner: Rose Namajunas by way of 1st round submission
It’s Carla Esparza vs Rose Namajunas in the finals on Friday.