UFC Mexico City Results: Carla Esparza Takes Close Majority Decision Against Alexa Grasso

UFC 219 UFC 225 Carla Esparza Claudia Gadelha
Credit: Mike Sloan/Sherdog.com

Carla Esparza held on in the third round to claim a majority decision win against Alexa Grasso at UFC Mexico City.

The co-main event of UFC Mexico City saw an interesting opportunity present itself for the women’s strawweight division. Former (and inaugural) champ Carla Esparza was looking to reestablish herself at 115lbs. Mexico’s own Alexa Grasso was seeking to make the jump from prospect to player in the division, after defeating a former title challenger, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, in her previous outing.

Round 1

Grasso held center early, getting her hands going as Esparza tried to close the distance. The former champ would land a solid punch of her own, but Grasso clearly had the faster hands. However, Esparza of course had her takedowns. Her first shot was a powerful one, and she drove through, taking Grasso down after a level change. Grasso briefly landed on top but Esparza quickly regained the upper hand. When Grasso scrambled free, Esparza charged after her, and nearly ate a kick off a slip. A second takedown was stuffed, but Esparza pushed her opponent up against the fence. The pair reversed, but Esparza was able to use a head and arm throw to get things back down.  They’d get back up for the final few seconds in the round.

Cageside Press scores the round 10-9 for Carla Esparza

Round 2

Carla Esparza took Alexa Grasso to the ground early, settling into her guard. Esparza had to contend with an active closed guard. Grasso at times appeared to look for a kimura. Esparza meanwhile was peppering her opponent’s side with body shots. When they did make it back up Grasso landed with a hard right that snapped Esparza’s head back. Esparza tripped looking for a takedown, but would eventually complete it. While Grasso had the clear edge standing, she couldn’t stay standing, and that was becoming an issue.

Cageside Press scores the round 10-9 for Carla Esparza

Round 3

Grasso absolutely rocked Carla Esparza to start round three! Esparza fled to buy herself some time, and Grasso slipped. Esparza, however, was still dazed. She shot for a takedown, but Grasso was able to fight it off. Another attempt, and a big sprawl by Grasso. Grasso then took things down while looking to trap an arm. She was able to lock in the arm-bar, but somehow, Esparza rolled through, even as the limb was extended at a grotesque angle. Esparza managed to end up on top, in guard. She wound up bloodied when they got back to the feet and slugged it out to the bell. But gutting it out won her the fight.

When it went to the scorecards, one judge had it a draw, while two gave it to Esparza. Not a popular decision with the crowd, but a hard-fought win for the former champion.

Cageside Press scores the round 10-9 for Alexa Grasso

Official Decision: Carla Esparza def. Alexa Grasso by majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)