Christian Rodriguez has taken down a hot prospect…
The 25-year-old Latino MMA fighter, nicknamed “CeeRod,” came back from losing the first round to win a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) over the previously undefeated Raul Rosas Jr. to open the UFC 287 main card on Saturday at Kaseya Center.
Rosas has been one of the best and most hyped prospects on the UFC roster at only 18 years old. He was the youngest fighter ever signed to the UFC last year at 17. He has also developed quite the fan following, getting a big pop for his walkout Saturday night.
“I just stopped a hype train,” Rodriguez said in his postfight interview. “I hope you guys can follow my journey.”
Rosas looked good early. He’s a ground specialist, and it’s never a secret that he’s going to try to take the fight to the canvas. He did so repeatedly in the first round and nearly snared a rear-naked choke while on Rodriguez’s back on several occasions. But Rodriguez survived some very disadvantageous situations.
Rosas was clearly exhausted going into the second round, and Rodriguez took over. He was able to out-scramble Rosas on the ground in the second and third rounds, stay on top and land some ground and pound.
“I respect his skillset,” Rodriguez said of Rosas, adding, “That kid brings it.”
Rodriguez (9-1) has won two straight now after dropping his UFC debut to Jonathan Pearce in January 2022.
The 25-year-old Milwaukee native, who trains out of Roufusport, is a veteran of Dana White‘s Contender Series.
Rosas (7-1), who lives and trains in Las Vegas, won his UFC debut at UFC 282 back in December, a first-round submission win.