UFC 274: Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza Picks and Predictions

Carla Esparza vs. Rose Namajunas

UFC: Saturday, May 7th at 10:00 PM ET

The Line: -- Carla Esparza +175 / Rose Namajunas -210 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza face off on Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 274 in a women’s strawweight title bout at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. These two fighters faced all the way back in December of 2014 and it was in the third round that she locked in a submission and finished the fight. 

Rose “Thug” Namajunas comes into this fight with a 12-4 record overall and she has won three fights in a row. Namajunas last fight came against Zhang Weili in November of 2021 and she won that fight by unanimous decision. Namajunas was actually taken down five times in that fight, but she outstruck Weili 86-83, and that was enough to win by a split decision. Two fights ago against Weili won the fight early by knockout. Namajunas is averaging 4.01 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 3.88 significant strikes per minute. Namajunas is averaging 1.78 takedowns every 15 minutes and she is successful on 56 percent of takedown attempts. She also stops 51 percent of her takedown attempts. At times she will try to finish the fight by submission and she is averaging 0.6 submission attempts every 15 minutes. 

On the other side of this matchup is Carla Esparza who sits with a 19-6 record overall and she has won five fights in a row. Esparza’s last fight came against Yan Xiaonan and it was midway through the second round that she finished the fight by knockout. The two wins before that last win was by split decision. Esparza is averaging 2.34 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.75 significant strikes per minute. Esparza likes to get the fight to the ground and she is averaging 3.53 takedowns every 15 minutes but she is only successful on 37 percent of her takedown attempts. She also stops 48 percent of her opponents takedown attempts. 

Esparza has improved since the last time she faced Namajunas, but so has Rose, and I expect “Thug” is going to find success here. This fight being five rounds is an advantage for Namajunas, and I expect she is going to do a good job of keeping this fight on the feet. Namajunas stops 51 percent of her opponent's takedown attempts and she is going to raise that number here. Namajunas can pick apart Esparza on the feet, and she is going to make life tough there. Back Namajunas to win by decision. 

Shane’s Pick Rose Namajunas by Decision

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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