Christian Rodriguez had a successful day at work as he stopped the hype train of 18-year-old Raul Rosas Jr., who ran out of gas and failed his fight at UFC 287. Since then, some UFC peers encouraged Rosas Jr. to keep pushing on following his defeat, some used the occasion to make fun of the rookie fighter.
It was a heart-stopping start to the UFC 287 main card opener as Rodriguez went toe-to-toe with Rosas Jr. in a fierce battle of wills. Rodriguez faced near-defeat as Rosas Jr. locked in multiple submission attempts, including a standing rear-naked choke that left fans on the edge of their seats. But Rodriguez didn't give up, surviving the round and then coming back stronger in the following rounds.
With heavy wrestling and grappling, Rodriguez began to dominate the exchanges, even attempting submissions of his own. In a thrilling conclusion, Rodriguez ended the fight on top, emerging victorious with a unanimous decision. Even Rosas Jr. acknowledged his likely defeat, giving credit to Rodriguez for his impressive performance in the octagon.
Rosas Jr., who aims to go down as the youngest-ever champion in UFC history, is going to benefit from this, according to broadcast commentator Joe Rogan for the company.
The 25-year-old Rodriguez expressed regret for going one pound above the bantamweight threshold on Friday before the fight. But during a post-fight interview, he praised the Mexican fighters' skills.
“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.”
Several fighters responded to Rosas Jr.'s defeat on Twitter. Chris Weidman, a former middleweight champion of the UFC, expressed that the DWCS alum will benefit from this fight's ego-check:
While some of them poked fun at Rosas Jr. and wrote: