Tomorrow, the UFC will head to the Amalie Arena for UFC on Fox 19. While most of the attention heading into this event has been focused around the main event shuffle, an incredible women’s strawweight bout has been flying under the radar.

Kicking off the Fox-televised main card, top contenders Rose Namajunas and Tecia Torres will meet with a title shot potentially hanging in the balance. This will be the second time these two have crossed paths as Torres defeated Namajunas by unanimous decision nearly three years ago at Invicta FC 6 in July of 2013.

Since that defeat – the first of her career – Namajunas showed incredible growth, making it to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned where she was defeated by inaugural UFC women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza. Namajunas has since won her last two Octagon appearances by submission.

Torres, on the other hand, didn’t have quite as good a showing on The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned, going just 1-2 in her three bouts. However, since the show ended, Torres has continued to keep her pro record unblemished as she is now 3-0 in the UFC and 7-0 overall.

This should be an excellent matchup between two hungry and talented fighters looking to send the message that they are ready for a title shot.

Striking

On the feet, both Torres and Namajunas like to pressure their opponents. Both women like to move forward and both excel at mixing kicks and punches together. From a purely technical standpoint, Torres is the more refined striker but her stature could present problems.

Since their last meeting Namajunas has improved by leaps and bounds and her length will be a huge difference maker on the feet. In order for Torres to be effective, she is going to have to close that four inch reach advantage and in doing so she could take a lot of punishment.

Advantage – Namajunas

Grappling

Torres has great balance and excellent footwork which makes her difficult to takedown but Namajunas is relentless. She might not be the most gifted grappler in terms of getting the fight to the ground, but she is willing to take chances and paired with her aggression fighting off her takedown attempts is a daunting task.

Advantage – Namajunas

Submissions

This is where Namajunas should have a significant advantage. Torres is tough and technical and she has proven to be more than competent on the ground, but Namajunas is just on a different level. Her ability to seize and capitalize on opportunities on the ground makes her extremely dangerous. If this fight gets stopped before the final bell it will be because Namajunas has submitted Torres.

Advantage – Namajunas

X-factors

The most important thing for Torres heading into this fight has to be distance; she has to find a way to close the distance against Namajunas. Torres was able to do that in their first meeting and as a result, she won that bout.

For Namajunas, it’s all about calculated risks. Torres is tough and talented and if Namajunas is going to win this fight decisively she is going to need to take some chances. The problem is, if the risk is too big it could end up costing her the fight.

Prediction

Expect to see a spectacular fight between these two; this could easily end up being the “Fight of the Night” when it is all said and done. Torres is going to come out early and look to get inside but Namajunas and her much-improved striking will keep her on the outside. Eventually, Namajunas will find an opening and she will finish the fight.

Namajunas over Torres via Third Round Submission

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.