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Esparza and Alexa
Grasso are ranked 8th and 9th respectively at strawweight. They
will both be looking to ascend the rankings latter when they meet
inside the Octagon on Sept. 21 for
UFC Fight Night 159 in Mexico City. As they get their game
plans ready, look into some numbers that might just define their
Esparza was awarded the inaugural UFC strawweight title after
winning the 16-woman tournament on The Ultimate Fighter 20. In the
finals, which took place on Dec. 12, 2014, she defeated Rose
Namajunas via submission in the third round. While she lost the
belt on her first defense to Joanna
Jedrzejczyk, Esparza remained competitive the entire time.
After nine UFC fights, she has amassed a record of 5-4.
Grasso entered the UFC on Nov. 5, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 98,
where she decisioned the more experienced Heather
Clark. She then alternated wins and losses, and, after five
fights, has a record of 3-2.
Both fighters lost to Tatiana
Suarez, who remains undefeated in the Octagon. She needed only
2:44 to dispose of Grasso by rear-naked choke. Meanwhile, Suarez
versus Esparza was out-and-out murder. She outstruck Esparza by an
outrageous margin of 82-6 and eventually stopped her at 4:33 of the
Esparza and Markos engaged in a three-round war, with the former
getting the nod from two of the three judges and taking the split
decision. The woman out of Team Oyama trailed 32-48 in the
significant strikes department but was able to dominate in the
takedown department with four takedowns to Markos’ zero.
Markos also gave Grasso a great fight, and it likewise ended in a
split decision. The latter outstruck the former 64-45 but wasn’t
able to take her down. Markos, for her part, took the Mexican to
the ground four times.
Four out of Grasso’s 11 victories have come via KO or TKO, making
for a 36 percent knockout rate. She started her career with three
straight knockouts in regional promotions. Then, in her second
fight in Invicta FC, she starched Alida Gray
inside the first round to score her fourth knockout victory.
With three TKOs out of 14 victories, Esparza owns a 21 percent
knockout rate. She started her career with a TKO victory and later
scored two more at the expense of Sarah
Schneider and Lynn
Alvarez in Invicta FC.
Grasso has yet to submit anyone while Esparza has tapped out four.
That makes for a 29 percent submission rate for the native of
Redondo Beach, California. Apart from Namajunas, she has also
Schuckman and Karina
Losses by stoppage
Three of Esparza’s career losses have been stoppages. She was
knocked out by Tatiana
Suarez and Joanna
Jedrzejczyk and was tapped out by Megumi
Fujii. Meanwhile, Grasso’s submission loss to Suarez remains
the only stoppage blemish of her career.