Jessica Aguilar (left) took a split decision over Carla Esparza. | Photo: Keith Mills
Aguilar was the aggressor throughout the bout, chasing down Esparza, who circled the cage in pursuit of low kicks. Aguilar dictated the first round with clean right hands that snapped Esparza's head back and in the second round, was even able to get the talented wrestler on the mat, as if to simply show off her well-roundedness.
Early in the second frame, Aguilar showed off the lesser-known elements to her game, getting double underhooks and slamming the talented wrestler to the mat. However, from there, Esparza rallied as she started to land effective low kicks and was able to show off her own takedown skills, punctuating the frame with a headlock hip throw that put her in side control.
Aguilar (left) edged Esparza.
From there, the fight belonged to “Jag,” who landed hard low kicks and steady, stern right hands to keep Esparza circling away and on the defensive until the final bell.
“I thought I definitely took the first and the third,” said Aguilar in assessing the fight. “She got me down in round two, but in the first and third I was aggressive and worked my game and landed punches.”
Oddly, Esparza saw the fight in considerably different fashion, despite the fact the second round seemed to be her strongest.
“I thought I maybe lost the second, but won the first and third,” said Esparza. “I didn't take a lot of damage, I feel fine.”
Judges Ric Bays and Barry Luxenberg saw the bout 30-27 for Aguilar, giving her the split decision win, while dissenting judge Hector Gomez saw it 29-28 Esparza. Sherdog.com scored the bout 29-28 for Aguilar.
With the win, Aguilar moved to 11-4, having won six of her last seven fights. The lone loss in that span was her controversial split decision loss to would-be Bellator 115-pound champ Zoila Gurgel. The 23-year-old Esparza fell to 5-2 in her young, 16-month career.
Johnson Jr. (top) outpointed Lewis.
The 25-year-old Johnson, a former Iowa State Cyclone wrestler, easily got single-legs, double-legs, and scoop slams for 10 minutes. The Miami-based heavyweight easily passed to side control and mount, but continued to lose position.
Lewis gave up his back repeatedly, but the former KOTC heavyweight champion seemed to lack the balance and fitness to secure the dominant position.
Lewis got back into the fight in the third round as the exhausted Johnson dove at his legs, landing heavy hammerfists and punches, but ended up on the ground again before the final bell.
Bezerra (top) choked Jones.
The 23-year-old Bezerra quickly put the Miramar, Fla., native on the mat and displayed slick guard passing.
After taking the back briefly, “Popo” took full mount with an arm-triangle choke attempt, abandoning it for a topside triangle that ended the lightweight contest at 3:27 of the first round.
Samman pushed aggressively for takedowns, but Cramer responded with clinch knees and hip tosses that left his opponent playing guard late in all three rounds.view original article >>
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