Continuing from where I left off yesterday with my breakdown of the Angelica Chavez/Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc fight, I will now move one step higher up the stacked Invicta FC 2 card and analyze another compelling match-up. Fresh off a win over the highly popular Felice Herrig, Carla Esparza will look to stop the momentum of “The White Tiger” Sarah Schneider.
Carla Esparza (MMA Record: 6-2, Invicta FC Record: 0-0)
Who she is: An All-American wrestling goddess from California, Esparza is a top five ranked straw-weight with an incredibly diverse set of skills. Her only two losses were to two of the best female fighters in the world in Jessica Aguilar and Megumi Fujii. Both of those defeats were suffered under the Bellator banner.
Her strengths: Primarily a great wrestler but very well-rounded in all areas
Her Weaknesses: Not necessarily a weakness but she is not as effective standing as she is on the ground
Keys to victory: Esparza will have to neutralize the jiu-jitsu of Schneider and she can do this either by using her wrestling to keep the fight standing, controlling the clinch game or just flat out taking Schneider down and maintaining top control while beating her up with ground and pound.
Sarah Schneider (MMA Record: 6-5, Invicta FC Record: 1-0)
Who she is: Schneider began her MMA career as a bantamweight and managed to obtain big wins over Julie Kedzie and Kaitlin Young. Unfortunately, 135 simply was not the best weight-class for her and losses to Sarah Kaufman and the aforementioned Fujii prompted her drop down to 115-lbs. She made quick work of her opponent, Sally Krumdiack, at Invicta FC 1 by pulling guard and submitting her in the first round.
Her Strengths: Brazil… erm I mean, American Jiu-Jitsu
Her weaknesses: Striking
Keys to victory: Make no mistake about it Schneider needs to submit Esparza to obtain the win. I’m not saying a victory any other way is impossible but it is highly unlikely if Esparza shows up as close to 100% as possible. Schneider has some of the best, if not the best, jiu-jitsu in the entire division so she will have to constantly be looking for ways to set one up on Esparza.
The Final Verdict:
Like I said, Schneider is a viper on the ground and has the potential to submit any fighter in her division if the opportunity presents itself. She isn’t entirely one-dimensional, she is a capable striker too but she is not as complete of an MMA fighter as Esparza.
Esparza will dictate the pace of the fight and control where it goes. If she wants to trade strikes, she will negate all takedowns and pick her opponent apart. If she wants to bring it to the ground, she can do that as well although it isn’t recommended but her wrestling should be able to negate her opponents jiu-jitsu.
Carla Esparza def. Sarah Schneider via TKO Round 2