One the most important seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in history crowned a new UFC Women's Strawweight champion Friday night, with Carla Esparza emerging victorious at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale.
Esparza was the top seeded fighter on the series, as she held the Invicta FC strawweight championship heading in to the tournament. Esparza defeated 22-year old Rose Namajunas, who ran roughshod over the tournament earning three submissions.
Namajunas came out strong, but was eventually overwhelmed by Esparza's wrestling. Despite repeated takedowns, Namajunas continued throwing kicks and paid the price in the form of ending up on her back. Esparza was unrelenting, capitalizing on Rose's gaping weakness. Esparza managed a rear naked choke submission in the third round, moving to 10-2 in her career (not including 3-0 on The Ultimate Fighter 20). Esparza also earned a $50,000 performance bonus, as well as a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Elsewhere on the card Charles Oliveira won a decision over Jeremy Stephens, and Jessica Penne took third place in The Ultimate Fighter 20 tournament by defeating Randa Markos. Penne and Markos won $50,000 for "fight of the night" honors, as Yancy Medeiros took home the remaining performance bonus.
Full event results for The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale are below:
Carla Esparza def. Rose Namajunas via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 1:26 to become inaugural UFC Women's Strawweight champion.
Charles Oliveira (#14) def. Jeremy Stephens (#10) via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Daron Cruickshank vs. K.J. Noons no-contest (eye poke) – Round 2, 0:25
Yancy Medeiros def. Joe Proctor via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 4:37
Jessica Penne def. Randa Markos via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Felice Herrig def. Lisa Ellis via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 3:05
Heather Jo Clark def. Bec Rawlings via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Joanne Calderwood def. Seo Hee Ham via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Tecia Torres def. Angela Magana via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Aisling Daly def. Alex Chambers via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 4:53
Angela Hill def. Emily Kagan via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)