Rodriguez gets narrow win over Rosa in thriller at UFC 188
Yair Rodriguez and Charles Rosa produced a back-and-forth, technical battle on the main card of UFC 188 in Mexico City on Saturday night. In the end, Rodriguez won a split decision in the night's best fight, up to that point.
Scores were 29-28 (twice) and 28-29 in Rodriguez' favor. In the first round, Rodriguez came out firing on the feet and on the ground.
Yair first connected with a spinning wheel kick to the face of Rosa and followed up with a switch high kick. On the ground, Rodriguez locked on a tight and well-angled triangle choke.
Rosa spent the first half of the round defending what looked like a completely sunk choke. "Boston Strong" escaped and then took the advantage, taking Yair's back, and landing punches.
Once back on the feet, it didn't take Rosa long to score a slam takedown, then work for a heel hook attempt. In the second round, Rosa got cut open badly over his face from Rodriguez' strikes.
Rosa worked for the takedown, hard. Rosa shot for another leg lock before finally scoring another takedown.
Rodriguez quickly reversed him, however, and ended the round with big ground strikes.
The third round was all Rosa. He landed an overhand right punch to the head and kick to the leg before scoring another takedown.
Rodriguez attempted another triangle choke but this one was defended more quickly. Rosa spent the rest of the round landing huge punches and elbows, looking for front chokes and a rolling crucifex.
Another takedown from Rosa placed him on top, against the cage, where he landed more punches and elbows. With the second round being clearly for Yair and the third for Rosa, it likely came down to how judges scored the back-and-forth first round.
Rodriguez got the nod, but both men should expect performance bonuses for their amazing efforts. In his post-fight interview, a spent Rodriguez couldn't help but vomit from all the exertion.