Yair Rodriguez justified all the hype behind him with his split decision victory against Charles Rosa.
After winning TUF: Latin America, Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez developed a lot of hype behind his name. Coming into his bout against the up-and-coming featherweight Charles Rosa, a lot of questions surfaced about whether the hype was justified or not. After a 15-minute fire fight with “Boston Strong”, one can conclude that Yair Rodriguez is instead a special talent.
Yair got the action started with a wheel kick, leaping kicks, and flying knees. Rosa landed take downs throughout the contest, but Yair seemed absolutely comfortable fighting off of his back. Rodriguez nearly had the American finished with a triangle attempt in the first round, but offered up punches and elbows off his back too. The entire contest was a real battle of wills, but in the end, Charles Rosa just couldn’t keep up with all the tools of Yair Rodriguez. Rosa scored some good right hands on the feet – cutting through Rodriguez’s flashy striking techniques – and had some great takedowns with a busy top game, but even that couldn’t keep up with Yair Rodriguez’s full arsenal. Yair pulled off several reversals from his back, and stayed one step ahead on the score cards.
In the end, two of the three judges gave it to Yair Rodriguez while the other gave it to Charles Rosa. Despite going down in the books as a split decision, the fight was a bit more one-sided than the result may show. Rodriguez has a lot of tightening up to, but living in Chicago and working with Greg Jackson means he has some serious upside. Can’t wait to see “El Pantera” again.
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