Esparza utilized superior wrestling to defeat Hyatt, which earned her the inaugural Invicta FC strawweight strap.
Bec Hyatt vs Carla Esparza
Round One: "Big" John McCarthy the ref in charge of this scrap. Hyatt comes out swinging in the first 15 seconds, wasting no time establishing her striking game. Esparza shows off her superior wrestling skills by shooting for a takedown and getting Hyatt to the mat with 3:59 remaining. Esparza, sporting her signature wrestling singlet, throwing bombs from top position with 3:20 left, and Hyatt looked slightly rattled. Hyatt gives up her back with 2:40 to go, and Esparza comes close to locking in a rear-naked choke. It's all Esparza with 2:20 to go, as she refuses to give up on the rear-naked choke attempts. Hyatt hangs in tough, but Esparza utilizes ground-and-pound with a minute left in the frame. Hyatt makes it out of the first round, but Esparza was dominant for the first five minutes of action.
Round Two: No feeling out process for Hyatt, as she comes out with strikes. Esparza looks fierce in the second frame, shooting for a takedown and working for some brutal ground-and-pound. Hyatt locks in an armbar with 2:52 to go, but Esparza breaks free and starts to fire away with strikes. Esparza's wrestling experience proves to be a key, as she takes Hyatt down with ease in the waning minutes of the frame. Esparza had three takedowns in the second round.
Round Three: Esparza seems to be gassing out, as she's not as explosive with her strikes in the opening seconds of the third. However, she's able to take Hyatt down with 3:59 to go, and she stays active with strikes from top position. Hyatt saves herself from taking too much damage from the bottom by keeping Esparza close and posturing up. Three rounds to zero for Esparza after 15 minutes of action.
Round Four: Hyatt seems to be gaining momentum heading into the championship rounds, as she comes out throwing combinations that catches Esparza's attention. However, Esparza gets the takedown and takes Hyatt's back with 3:22 to go. It's a stallmate on the ground midway through the frame, and color commentator Bas Rutten calls for the fight to be stood up. Esparza secures an armbar with 1:20 left, but Hyatt pops out and throws jabs that land on her opponent's face. Hyatt coming on strong in the waning seconds of the round, but Esparza survives. Round ends with Hyatt in side control.
Round Five: Esparza likely up four rounds to zero heading into the final frame, so Hyatt needs a finish to win the Invicta FC strawweight strap. It's more of the same from Esparza, as she dictates the pace with strong wrestling.
Invicta FC 4 Main Card
115 lb. title: Carla Esparza vs. Bec Hyatt
135 lbs.: Shayna Baszler vs. Alexis Davis (Davis via third-round rear-naked choke)
135 lbs.: Leslie Smith vs. Raquel Pennington (Smith via unanimous decision)
135 lbs.: Amanda Nunes vs. Sarah D'Alelio (D'Alelio via unanimous decision)
145 lbs.: Ediane Gomes vs. Hiroko Yamanaka (Gomes via unanimous decision)
115 lbs.: Joanne Calderwood vs. Livia Von Plettenberg (Calderwood via decision)
Invicta FC 4 Preliminary Card
105 lbs.: Stephanie Frausto vs. Cassie Rodish (Rodish via TKO)
145 lbs.: Tamikka Brents vs. Amanda Bell (Brents via split decision)
105 lbs.: Liz McCarthy vs. Jodie Esquibel (Esquibel via split decision)
115 lbs.: Emily Kagan vs. Rose Namajunas (Namajunas via third-round rear-naked choke)
115 lbs.: Tecia Torres vs. Paige VanZant (Torres via unanimous decision victory)
145 lbs.: Katalina Malungahu vs. Veronica Rothenhausler (Rothenhausler via first-round TKO)
105 lbs.: Laura Marcusse-Sanko vs. Cassie Robb (Sanko via submission; second-round rear-naked choke)