UFC 287: Christian Rodriguez defeated Raul Rosas Jr.
Christian Rodriguez defeated Raul Rosas Jr. via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), at UFC 287 on Saturday, April 8, 2023, live from the Kaseya Center in Miami, FL.
"He is really really good. First off, I want to applogize to the UFC and Raul for being a pound overweight... I want to fight international week. It feels really good," said Rodriguez.
Rosas Jr. immediately went for a takedown. Rodriguez was caught off guard but was able to keep prevent the takedown. The two engaged in a clinch against the fence. Eventually, Rosas Jr. was able to pick a single leg and take down Rodriguez.
The two fighters battled for positioning moving from the ground to the clinch. Rosas Jr. jumped onto the back of Rodriguez and attempted to go for a submission. Rodriguez did a good job defending and eventually forced Rosas Jr. to give up on the submission attempt.
The two continued to engage each other in a clinch. Rosas Jr. struggled to keep Rodriguez on the ground. Rodriguez was able to transition and get on top of of Rosas Jr., who tried to scramble out of position. Rosas Jr. continued to try to get out of trouble but Rodriguez took the back of Rosas Jr. and attempted a choke before giving up and attacking the body.
The third round started Rosas Jr. and Rodriguez each landing a strong jab. Rosas Jr. missed a spinning elbow but Rodriguez landed a counter punch. Rodriguez stuffed another takedown, following by another one. Eventually, Rodriguez transition from another takedown attempt to take Rosas Jr.'s back.
Rodriguez moved into full mount and started reigning down strikes from different angles. Rodriguez landed several powerful elbows and briefly going for a submission before switching back to strikes. Rosas Jr. was unable to break the body triangle of Rodriguez. Eventually, Rodriguez let Rosas Jr. up so the two fighters could trade strikes for the last 10 seconds.
Rodriguez missed weight, forcing the fight to be fought at a catchweight. After losing his UFC debut, Rodriguez returned in his second fight, submitting Joshua Weems in the first round. With his upset victory, Rodriguez improved to 9-1.
Rosas Jr. turned pro a month after his 17th birthday and made his UFC debut 13 months after his pro debut. In his UFC debut, Rosas Jr. submitted Jay Perrin in the first round of their UFC 282 fight. The 18 year old Rosas Jr. entered UFC 287 with an undefeated record and finishes in six of his seven fights. With Rosas Jr. still being so young, he has plenty of time to overcome his first loss.