The Arena Ciudad de México in Mexico City, Mexico was home to a decent night of fights. The card saw three (T)KOs, one submission, and seven decisions, including a split-draw, a majority decision and a no-contest. The unholy trinity of results, all on one card!
Fight of the Night: Carla Esparza vs. Alexa Grasso
Carla Esparza and Alexa Grasso had a great, back-and-forth battle that entertained from start to finish. Esparza dominated on the ground, and unsurprisingly, Grasso had the advantage on the feet. Esparza did land a few stingers of her own, but Grasso had her hurt on more than one occasion, then ended up allowing Carla to recover. Her finishing instinct seems more dominant when she’s grappling than when she’s standing, which is odd considering how good her boxing is.
Esparza clearly dominated the second round, timing takedowns with surgical precision and maintaining lead blanket top control. From there, she landed some good body shots and elbows. Grasso blasted her a couple times, but again, no finishing instinct to be found.
The third round was where Grasso finally found her groove, but once again, she allowed Esparza to recover after having her in jeopardy. The ground scrambles were great, and Grasso had a super tight armbar that appeared to force Esparza to dislocate her arm to escape. The fight was incredibly close, and the judges requested to re-score it, whereupon they decided Carla Esparza won via majority decision and the UFC brass rewarded them with a FOTN bonus.
Performances of the Night: Paul Craig, Steven Peterson
Paul Craig went against the norm tonight when he scored a first-round submission over Vinicius Moreira Castro. After being backed up by Moreira and escaping several submission attempts, Craig managed to land some solid ground-and-pound from guard. Moreira scrambled back to his feet only to be tripped while trying to trip Craig. After a pair of nasty knees and several hard punches, the “Bear Jew” secures a rear-naked choke, forcing the tap. Paul Craig gets the W and a POTN bonus.
Martin Bravo started strong but went out on the flat of his back, the victim of spinning shit. The two men came out swinging hard and fast, but it was Bravo who would control the first round with crisp boxing and flamboyant kicks. Bravo’s forward pressure would continue into the second round where he did well until he decided to try a spinning back fist. Without missing a beat, Peterson spun the other direction at the same time, but his punch landed, and Bravo fell like a chopped tree. Out. Cold. It is just the seventh spinning back fist KO in UFC history. Steven Peterson gets the victory and a POTN bonus.