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Kyle Anthony
  • Event: (24753) Carla Esparza at (24754) Marina Rodriguez
    Sport/League: MMA
    Date/Time: July 26, 2020 1AM EDT
    Play: 3% – Marina Rodriguez -170
    Play Rating: 3%
    Result: Loss

    In a main card fight Marina Rodriguez faces off against Carla Esparza...

    After back to back losses, Carla Esparza pulled off 3 straight wins defeating debuting Virna Jandiroba, Alexa Grasso and Michelle Waterson. In her bout against Alexa Grasso, whom is slightly simaler to Marina Rodriguez, Grasso worked her range keeping Carla distant. The issue was Grasso doen't have the striking ability of Marina, but clearly you can see the limited striking skill set of Carla. Her game is wrestling, push forward seeking takedowns, which defending those attempts Grasso struggled. In a close fight, Carla edged it out with successful takedowns. Most recently Esparza faced "The Karate Hottie" Michelle Waterson, which was an interesting fight to re-watch. Waterson's elevated her wrestling and top control, while standing has the weapons to call upon. Throughout this fight Carla stood at distance, mostly in the range Waterson prefers. Early in the fight Carla couldn't cut that distance and Waterson worked her top level kickboxing. Although a late takedown, the round was controled by Waterson. Going into rounds 2 and 3, Waterson once again chipped away using her striking to work distance and outpoint Carla. In those exchanges you can see the limited combinations from Esparza, which allowed Waterson to work. This was a fight I easily gave Waterson 2 rounds to 1 winning, but the judges saw differently and awarded Carla the win. 

    On the other side, undefeated rising prospect Marina Rodriguez. When watching her last 3 fights, one thing is certain...she has a fantastic high volume accurate striking skill set with an aggressive style. Her ability staying active in the pocket pushing good output with mixed up combinations is smooth. 2 fights ago she fought Tecia Torres which really put all her skills on display. Not only did Tecia not get a takedown, but Marina threw Tecia to the ground twice defending those takedowns. Rodriguez completely outworked Torres staying on the outside utilizing good distance management. It was a solid showing from Marina over 3 rounds earning the win. Most recently she squared off against a tough Cynthia Calvillo whom is another good grappler moving up the ranks. Early Calvillo got a takedown, but Marina showed she can scramble back to her feet. Thats saying a lot against the the ground game of Cynthia finding ways back up. Rounds 1 and 2 Marina showed that aggressive style with sharp combinations. The fight ended up being a draw, but was a great test for her against a ground specialist. 

    The only path to victory for Carla is her takedowns, but behind those takedowns is basic striking. I believe Marina has the tools to keep active forcing Carla into a striking battle. Her strong muay thai background has helped in the clinch gaining control of position. At times she'll use the thai clinch to defend takedowns and countering with knee's and heavy combinations. No doubt she'll have to defend takedown attempts, but good footwork and output should counter that. At the current price, I'm on Marina here to get the job done.

    (*added value, Rodriguez to win via decision +100)

    Play: Marina Rodriguez -170

     

     

     

     

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