In one of the most hotly contested fights on the card, Carla Esparza was able to take two rounds off of Cynthia Calvillo en route to a unanimous decision victory.
The first round started very well for Calvillo after a level change got her a nicely timed takedown where she was able to keep her opponent down the whole round as she landed quite a few good punches, hammer fists and elbows. Calvillo dominated the first round until the very end of it when Esparza was able to steal the top position through a quick scramble. This was a very crucial moment in the fight because it was only after seeing Calvillo’s ground game that Esparza started to implement her wrestling.
Round two was the total opposite where Esparza came out stronger. She beat Calvillo with the exchanges during the stand up and utilized her strong wrestling background, rewarding her with two quick take downs inside the second round.
Many would say the last round was the deciding round for this bout. With each fighter having a good round in their pockets, they both came out exchanging. While it was a still a close round, Esparza’s experience came into play. She landed some cleaner shots and she also utilized her kicks more than Calvillo did. Towards the end of the round, she came out swinging and ended the round strong. It was a close decision but in the end the judges gave the victory to Esparza. A huge win for the former champ as she’s now back in the contender picture.
“I’ll fight anyone you put in front of me”
After the fight during the back-stage interview, Esparza reacted to Calvillo’s prowess on the ground in the first round, her coaches told her not to worry about her ground game and implement her take downs in the later rounds. Esparza believes this was a pivotal factor that lead to her victory. Another change in her game that she mentioned were her kicks, she mentioned as she laughed, “My right shin is killing me but for good reasons.” As for her plans for the future, the former champ wants to be back in the octagon after 4 months with whoever the UFC sets her up with. For now, she will be enjoying her great win with some cookies!