Things went downhill for Carla Esparza when she lost the UFC strawweight title, but the fact of the matter is she won a season of TUF to earn it, and for the briefest of moments she was considered the best.
Cynthia Calvillo has had a flawless run the Octagon in three fights, and a win over Esparza would give her momentum a boost for sure.
Keenly aware that Esparza’s base is wrestling, Calvillo immediately shoots for – and gets a takedown – thereby putting the former champ on notice about who’s the boss. But Esparza remains undaunted, and after some scrambling, threatens with an armbar. Calvillo eventually works out of it, they trade ground and pound, and end the round on the feet.
Calvillo pretty much stays a brick wall when Esparza tries to get her down, yet Esparza’s pace is relentless, and the nonstop jabs and kicks and movement mixed with those takedown attempts have Esparza racking up points and Calvillo being forced to play catch-up. Ultimately, that’s the story of both Rounds 2 and 3, with Esparza not even coming close to hurting or finishing Calvillo, but Calvillo stuck in second place in terms of output.
Results: Carla Esparza def.Cynthia Calvillo via Unanimous Decision