A rematch eight years in the making is finally going down in May.
On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated confirmed the news that Rose Namajunas will be defending her strawweight title against No. 2 ranked Carla Esparza at UFC 274 on May 7 in Phoenix, Arizona. The report says the pair of strawweights will be the co-main event. Reporter Al Zullino was the first to report the news.
Esparza defeated Namajunas for the inaugural strawweight title back in December 2014. ‘Cookie Monster’ submitted ‘Thug’ Rose in the third round of The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale.
Nearly eight years later, they will fight once again.
Namajunas (11-4) has had quite a career since the loss to Esparza, which includes two title reigns. ‘Thug’ is coming off a split decision victory over Zhang Weili at UFC 268, and before that, she knocked the Chinese fighter out in a little over a minute to regain the title.
Esparza (18-6) is riding a five-fight win streak that includes wins over Marina Rodriguez, Michelle Waterson, and Alexa Grasso. In her last outing, she absolutely dominated Yan Xiaonan and finished her via second-round TKO to earn her rematch with Namajunas.
The rest of the card
Namajunas’ teammate Justin Gaethje will headline the event as he challenges lightweight champion Charles Oliviera.
The rest of the card looks like this:
- Charles Oliveira (c) vs. Justin Gaethje
- Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza II
- Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson
- Shogun Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux
- Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon
- Blagoy Ivanov vs. Marcos Rogério de Lima
- Macy Chiasson vs. Norma Dumont
- Randy Brown vs. Khaos Williams
- Francisco Trinaldo vs. Danny Roberts
- Brandon Royval vs. Matt Schnell
- Ariane Carnelossi vs. Lupita Godinez
- C.J. Vergara vs. Kleydson Rodrigues
- Journey Newson vs. Fernie Garcia
- Michael Johnson vs. Alan Patrick
- Tracy Cortez vs. Melissa Gatto