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UFC 287 results: Raul Rosas Jr. suffers first defeat as Christian Rodriguez handles 18-year-old prospect

UFC 287: Rosas Jr. v Rodriguez Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Christian Rodriguez might be the prospect to watch now that he handed 18-year-old Raul Rosas Jr. the first loss of his career to kick off the UFC 287 main card on Saturday.

After fighting off a number of submission attempts early, Rodriguez outworked Rosas for the final 10 minutes of the fight as he punished The Contender Series veteran in just about every position in the octagon. It was a strong showing from Rodriguez while Rosas showed that he still has a lot of room to grow before he’s a contender in the UFC’s bantamweight division.

All the judges scored the fight 29-28 with Rodriguez getting the unanimous decision victory.

“He’s really, really good,” Rodriguez said about Rosas. “I respect his skill set. I want to apologize for being a pound overweight. But that kid brings it.

“I’ve been training with the best team. I just stopped a good hype train so I hope you guys can follow my journey.”

It was a fast start for Rosas as he immediately flew across the cage and shot for a takedown as he battled to get Rodriguez on the canvas. Rodriguez defended well while making Rosas work for every position but he was still stuck defending throughout the opening round.

Rosas eventually found an opening to jump on Rodriguez’s back with the fighters still standing as he began working for a rear-naked choke. It was a methodical yet relentless attack with Rosas constantly threatening with submissions but Rodriguez was able to resist until the horn sounded.

The same attacks continued in the second round but this time Rodriguez was able to resist and reverse positions when Rosas attempted to drag him to the ground, which included a nasty knee to the body as the teenage fighter was diving for his legs. When he earned top position, Rodriguez was landing short, powerful elbows to the head and body as he continued chipping away at Rosas.

With Rosas looking like he was losing steam, Rodriguez was able to take his back and maintain control as the momentum in the fight began to shift rather dramatically. Rosas was looking much more labored in his movement, which allowed Rodriguez to set up his strikes and shut down further takedown attempts.

Rodriguez eventually decided to take the back again as he continued hammering away at Rosas, who looked stuck and exhausted without any real resistance to get back to his feet. As the final seconds ticked away, Rodriguez remained in complete control as he secured the victory while handing the highly touted prospect his first defeat.

In any other situation, Rodriguez might have been the fighter with a ton of hype surrounding him but it was Rosas squarely under the spotlight heading into UFC 287. That will likely change with Rodriguez getting the nod while Rosas will go back to the drawing board following his first defeat.

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