Check out the UFC Mexico City live blog below.
Round 1: Jason Herzog the official on-hand for the co-main event. Esparza feinting right away, Grasso keeping her hips wide and way back to avoid the takedown. Counter-punch by Esparza as the former champion wades in. Nice right hand by Esparza. She’s doing a good job of getting in and out so far. Grasso sticking with the jab. Esparza lands a nice outside leg kick but eats a glancing straight right for her troubles. Big shot in by Esparza and she gets the takedown, Grasso almost reverses into mount, but Esparza powers her onto her back. She’s in full guard now. Grasso defending well, she manages to kick Esparza off of her. They exchange punches, Grasso blocks a takedown and spins Esparza to the fence. Esparza gets the advantage in the clinch and has Grasso against the fence, though neither fighter is in control. Trip by Esparza with less than a minute to work. She’s holding on to a side headlock, Grasso pushing at her face. Grasso slips out and they’re back on the feet. Esparza scoring with punches coming forward, Grasso backs her off with a straight right just before the buzzer.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Esparza.
Round 2: Grasso comes out punching and Esparza backs off before scoring with a takedown about 30 seconds in. Esparza raising Grasso from the mat to slam her, breaking her grip on her wrists. They’re both trying to score with short body shots in somewhat of a stalemate. Esparza manages to change position and land a few head shots. Grasso fighting a losing striking battle from the bottom. She’s active, but Esparza is doing well to hold her down. Esparza takes a chance and briefly takes the back, she’s not locked in and Grasso is able to turn and get on top of her. The ensuing scramble results in the fight getting reset on the feet with 90 seconds remaining. Right cross by Grasso, then a 1-2 connects. Esparza answers with a clean right hand. Counter-shot by Esparza, evaded at first, but she holds onto the leg and gets a trip. She ends the round in top position.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Esparza. Overall, 20-18 Esparza.
Round 3: Slow start to the final frame, Esparza with a 1-2, but Grasso lands a good punch to the body. They trade punches again and Grasso clearly gets the worst of it, she’s retreating along the fence. Looks like she’s recovered for the most part. Grasso stuffs a shot. Then another one. Esparza ducks a right hand, but her takedown is stuffed again. Straight punches by Grasso, Esparza ducks down to grab a leg. Grasso goes down with her and hunts for a crucifix, then an armbar. Esparza staying heavy and she ends up in Grasso’s guard. Grasso not giving up on the armbar. Esparza’s arm is twisted at a disgusting angle, but she gets out! Grasso the more active fighter from the bottom. Time is ticking down on her. Almost no effective offense from Esparza in this round, she’s in survival mode. Back on the feet, they just stand and trade with 20 seconds to go, exciting finish.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Grasso. Overall, 29-28 Esparza.