VIDEO: Carla Esparza Lands Record-Setting Number of Strikes as She Destroys Yan Xiaonan

Published 05/22/2021, 10:12 PM EDT


Former UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza earned a dominant TKO win via ground-and-pound in the co-main for UFC Vegas 27. ‘Cookie Monster’ secured the crucifix position on two separate occasions and finished the fight via strikes. In fact, the stoppage win marked just the eleventh win from the crucifix position in UFC history.

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Yan Xiaonan rushed in on Carla Esparza early and found herself grounded in a matter of moments. The Chinese fighter paid dearly for her overzealousness as Esparza capitalized on the opportunity and offloaded a significant amount of damage. She cut Xiaonan open at the end of round one and compounded on the damage as the fight progressed.

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Per UFC stats, Esparza landed 104 strikes of 117 thrown in round 1, a novel occurrence at strawweight. She landed a total of 170 strikes (in just around 8 minutes) and secured a 100% takedown rate. The volume prompted the men at the commentary desk to remark that it was a record number of strikes thrown.

UFC Vegas 27: Yan Xiaonan vs Carla Esparza

‘Cookie Monster’ is now on a five-fight win streak in the division and is leading the pack from the front. Tatiana Suarez is the only other fighter with a similar streak, however, her inactivity has been a major setback. Esparza, who came in as the number four ranked strawweight, swiped Xiaonan’s number three ranking.

 

Prior to this TKO win, Carla Esparza, who continued to win fights via split decision, lacked clear decisive finishes. At UFC Vegas 27, she rectified the same with a strong wrestling heavy offense that stifled the striker. Given her most recent win, there’s a major increase in fan interest to see Esparza rematch Namajunas.

Chiefly, Esparza holds a rather one-sided victory over the current 115-pound champion in Rose Namajunas. Hence, ‘Thug’ could also view this as a shot at redemption.

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However, it’s back to the drawing board for the fighter out of China who clearly needs to work on her ground game. On the other hand, Carla Esparza will take away plenty of positives from her showing and will be excited to step in against Rose Namajunas.

What did you make of ‘Cookie Monster’s showing at UFC Vegas 27?

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Darryl Pinto

1647 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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