Ronda Rousey will have some company after Friday night, as the UFC crowns its first-ever female strawweight champion at The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale.
TUF 20 featured an entire cast of women, as Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas advanced to the finals through a 16-fighter tournament.
Fifteen of the 16 will compete on the card Friday that airs on FOX Sports 1 and Fight Pass, along with the debut of Seo Hee Ham. Justine Kish suffered an injury and will not be able to make her official debut yet.
With all eyes focused on the main event, here’s three things to look forward to:
Who walks away the champion?
The favorite vs. the sleeper.
The veteran vs. the rookie.
That’s what we have with Esparza and Namajunas, who both are well deserving representatives for the division. Prior to signing with the UFC for TUF 20, Esparza held the Invicta FC strawweight title.
Esparza is a legit threat to dominate the division for a long time. She has a wrestling background, earning All-American honors at Menlo College, and has trained BJJ with Rener, Ryron and Ralek Gracie.
Since a 2011 split decision loss to Jessica Aguilar in Bellator, Esparza is 4-0 with wins over Bec Rawlings and Felice Herrig. Her only other career defeat came at the hands of Megumi Fuji in 2010 in just her fourth pro bout.
Namajunas, meanwhile, has three pro bouts to her credit, including two submission wins. Her flying armbar last year was honored as the “Submission of the Year” by many, while her loss to Tecia Torres was widely-considered the female “Fight of the Year” in 2013.