The co-main event of UFC Mexico got off to a bit of a mundane start when the UFC’s #8 ranked strawweight Carla Esparza met the #9 ranked Alexa Grasso. Esparza worked her takedowns early on, dictating where the fight took place. The takedowns were there again for the American in the second round, helping Esparza getting ahead on the scorecards.
Then came the third and final round which looked completely different than the previous two. Grasso came out on a mission. She started connecting with her punches, rocking the former champ, and then chasing after her in pursuit of the finish. Esparza went back to the takedown, but Grasso locked up a super-tight armbar. It looked as if the elbow of Esparza was fully hyper-extended, but somehow she was able to escape the submission. Despite going hard in the final frame, two of the judges scored the bout for Esparza, with the remaining official seeing it as a draw.
Check out Mookie Alexander’s play-by-play from the wild third round between Carla Esparza vs. Alexa Grasso:
Round 3 - Grasso lands a jab but she definitely needs a finish. Big shots by Grasso and Esparza is hurt! Carla is wobbly! She throws a kick and falls but Carla does not follow her to the mat. Grasso being oddly patient with Esparza a bit unsteady. Great sprawl by Grasso and then once again, but the second time saw Esparza land a knee to the body. Hard right hand by Grasso. Another takedown by Esparza but Grasso has the whizzer. Grasso goes for the crucifix position, transitions to the armbar, but it’s to no avail. Esparza on top with under 2:30 to go. Dangerous armbar this time and Esparza does not tap! Wow! That looked like it could’ve been the end. Triangle by Grasso with elbows from the bottom. Esparza is out of trouble with 75 seconds to go. Grasso gets back to her feet with under 30 left. They slug away and Grasso is going for the KO! Esparza survives! 29-28 Esparza.
Official result: Carla Esparza def. Alexa Grasso by majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
By Majority Decision!— UFC (@ufc) September 22, 2019
Agree w/ the judges score card? #UFCMexico pic.twitter.com/J3fJsGd6Gj
Esparza is wobbled as @AlexaGrasso chases the late finish #UFCMexico pic.twitter.com/dypW1S0EWG— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 22, 2019
How did Esparza not tap?! Unreal! #UFCMexico pic.twitter.com/12LEqK4QSI— UFC (@ufc) September 22, 2019