Carla Esparza set out to become the UFC champion, and she accomplished that goal Friday night in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale.
Esparza, who vacated the Invicta FC 115-pound title to sign with the promotion, submitted Rose Namajunas in the finals. She locked up a rear-naked choke in the third round to become the first-ever UFC strawweight champion.
The main card also featured one other women’s contest, as Jessica Penne earned a decision over Randa Markos. The two were semifinalist on Season 20 of TUF.
Charles Oliveira defeated Jeremy Stephens and Yancy Medeiros downed Joe Proctor in other main card action, while K.J. Noons-Daron Cruickshank was stopped in the second after an accidental eye poke landed on Cruickshank.
The prelims featured all TUF 20 fighters and one newcomer, with Felice Herrig, Heather Jo Clark, Joanne Calderwood, Tecia Torres, Aisling Daly and Angela Hill picking up victories.
Penne and Markos were given the “Fight of the Night,” while Esparza and Yancy Medeiros picked up “Performance of the Night” bonuses. All four earned an additional $50,000. Announced also were the TUF 20 award winners, as Namajunas-Calderwood scored “Fight of the Season” and Markos and Namajunas claimed “Performance of the Season awards.” Those netted $25,000 each.
Complete results can be found below:
Carla Esparza def. Rose Namajunas via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:24 of Round 3 to become the UFC strawweight champion
Charles Oliveira def. Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Daron Cruickshank vs. K.J. Noons declared a no-contest (accidental eye poke) at :25 of Round 2
Yancy Medeiros def. Joe Proctor via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:37 of Round 1
Jessica Penne def. Randa Markos via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Felice Herrig def. Lisa Ellis via submission (armbar) at 3:05 of Round 2
Heather Clark def. Bec Rawlings via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Joanne Calderwood def. Seo Hee Ham via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Tecia Torres def. Angela Magana via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Aisling Daly def. Alex Chambers via submission (armbar) at 4:53 of Round 1
Angela Hill def. Emily Kagan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)