During their Invicta FC 4 headlining bout, Esparza utilized superior wrestling and ground-and-pound skills to overpower Hyatt for the majority of their 25-minute tilt.
However, Hyatt survived the onslaught and came on strong with a late flurry in the fifth and final round.
"She totally shocked the hell out of me," said Esparza (9-2) of Hyatt. "I wasn't expecting her to be so mentally tough. I don't think there's a lot of men or women who can go in there and be on their back and you punch them in the face and you totally push the pace on them, but they keep coming. I don't think there's a lot of people who can do that and that takes a lot of heart."
"I've been on a high ever since I won," Esparza added. "I'm so happy, to have this thing I've always wanted since I started fighting. I'm so happy, you know, it has been really life changing it feels good. The way that people look at you is different. You wake up one day and you know, you're a champion. People look at you different, you have this status and it feels good."
Esparza is expected to fight either Ayaka Hamasaki or Claudia Gadelha in her next bout.
As for Hyatt, she is slated to fight on the Invicta FC 5 card in April.
Esparza admits she's rooting for Liz Carmouche to beat Ronda Rousey at UFC 157.
"Definitely going to be there, it's history," Esparza said. "I think Liz is going to surprise people. I personally want Liz to win because she's a friend of mine. But I don't want to take anything from Rousey because she's a phenom and her armbars are just awesome."