TUF 20 Episode 4 Recap: Carla Esparza Submits Angela HillFormer Invicta FC Strawweight Champion Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza showed no signs of ring rust in an impressive first-round submission victory during tonight’s fourth episode of The Ultimate Fighter 20: “A Champion Will Be Crowned.” The top-ranked Esparza defeated Angela “Overkill” Hill.

Esparza’s victory extended Team Pettis’s lead to 4-0 over Team Melendez, which has thus far struggled in the elimination round. Ranked #1 and seen by many as a favourite to win the competition, Esparza overcame nerves and a lengthy layoff en route to a quick victory over the #16-ranked Hill.

Esparza (9-2-0 pro) and Hill (1-0-0 pro) exchanged punches in the opening seconds and Hill avoided one takedown, but Esparza latched onto her leg and got her down seconds later. Hill threw punches from the bottom and tried to scramble back to her feet, but Esparza took her back in the process and kept her pinned down. When Hill rolled to her side, Esparza instantly mounted her and rained down punches. She took Hill’s back for a second time and worked for a rear-naked choke and a neck crank.

Despite giving up a massive edge in grappling experience, Hill defended well on the ground and she escaped from Esparza’s grasp. Hill got back to her feet very briefly, but Esparza wasted no time in taking her back down. A back-and-forth scramble ensued and Hill stood up against the cage. Esparza hopped on her back and locked on a tight rear-naked choke. She used it to drag Hill back down to the mat and this time Hill had nowhere to go. She tapped out to the choke at the 3:41 mark of round one, giving Esparza a crucial victory and lifting a weight off of her shoulders.

Having survived the elimination round, Esparza’s path towards a second championship title continues in the quarterfinals. The standout wrestler joins teammates Randa Markos, Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood and Jessica Penne in the round of eight and awaits her next opponent.

Next week’s fifth episode of TUF 20 features a grudge rematch between bitter rivals Felice “Lil’ Bulldog” Herrig and “Hurricane” Heather Clark. Herrig defeated Clark by Split Decision in the pair’s heated first meeting at Bellator 94. She looks to keep Team Pettis’s perfect record intact by defeating Clark again next week. Clark, meanwhile, aims to avenge her past loss and earn the first win for Team Melendez.

The Ultimate Fighter 20: “A Champion Will Be Crowned” airs every Wednesday night on FOX Sports 1 and Sportsnet 360. The winner of the gruelling competition will become the inaugural UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion.



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, AllElbows.com / InvictaFC.com)

  1. Nice summary. It’s rare to read writing this well-crafted in WMMA. Good work!

  2. Carla did not liok like someone who had not fought in almost 2 years. Scrappy as usual…domination on the ground…she never gives her opponents time to breathe. She never gives her opponents time to think about anything but defence. This is why she is the best. She is like a mini Matt Hughes! If…a big if…she ends up fighting Calderwood…it could be interesting!

  3. Looks like episode 5 sees Kish dropping out with major knee problems. I wonder if they will bring back Tecia to fight Bec Rawlings. That’s the big question…who do they bring back after Justine leaves for surgery????

    Any thoughts out there, guys????

  4. Man you hit the nail on the head there Mike. They brought her back…