Yair Rodriguez earned a split decision verdict over Charles Rosa tonight at UFC 188 after putting on a fast-paced, entertaining fight both on the feet and the mat in front of an appreciative Mexican crowd.

Round One:

Missed leg kick from Rosa. Rodriguez swings with an overhand but misses. Rodriguez with a wheel kick and it partially lands. He follows up with another wild switch kick attempt to the head, but it doesn’t connect cleanly and he falls to the mat.

Rodriguez immediately back up and still going balls to the wall as he leaps into a flying knee attempt. The fight moving at a fast pace and Rodriguez is now on his back working a triangle choke attempt. Rosa hanging in there though as Rodriguez continues to try to get this submission cinched up perfectly.

Time passes and eventually Rosa is able to get free. He immediately starts working his ground and pound , then is able to take his opponents back. He’s attempting to flatten him out, but it’s not happening for now with around 90 seconds of the round remaining.

Rodriguez stands against the cage, but Roda is still clinched to his back. Huge takedown from Rosa, but has to be careful as Rodriguez throws up a few leg kicks. Working from inside Rodriguez’s guard Rosa starts landing some solid ground and pound.

Rodriguez tries to escape, but Rosa suddenly looks for a leg lock attempt. Rodriguez slickly out of that and now they are back on the feet as a fast paced round ends.

Round Two:

Rodriguez comes up short with a couple of punches. Rosa with a kick that’s almost caught and Rodriguez responds with one of his own. Rosa unbalanced after a kick attempt. Rodriguez with a couple of nic ekicks of his own.

Rosa barrels forward with punches looking to get into the clinch. Rodriguez stuffs a takedown and moves away. Rodriguez looking loose out there throwing rapid leg kicks. He stuffs another takedown attempt.

Hard body kick from Rodriguez. Rosa wades in and a left hook lands well. Rodriguez with a kick to the knee. Rosa with a leg kick and Rodriguez responds with a punch.

Rosa in deep on a takedown, but again it’s stuffed. Fast paced action continues and Rosa is in again on a takedown, but as they fall Rodriguez ends up on top. He decides to step away and back up to his feet though.

Back to the striking they go and Rosa is sporting a big cut high on his scalp. Rosa looking to work his grappling again, but Rodriguez still making life difficult for him and the ref stops to check the cut.

He’s ok to continue and Rodriguez is working his kicks again. Rosa almost gets a takedown, but Rodriguez pops right back up and away.

Rodriguez with a kick and almost lands an upwards elbow. Rosa presses forward and drops down with a leg lock attempt. Nothing doing here though and they go back upright. Rosa with a good punch and then lands a takedown attempt. Rodriguez does really well to reverse though as the round comes to a close. Fast and furious action here!

Round Three:

Rosa clocks his opponent with a nice right hook. Rodriguez tries a kick that’s almost caught. He lands a leg kick and Rosa presses in on a takedown. He works really hard for this and his persistance pays off and he gets him on his back. Looking to work from in the guard now, but has to be careful of Rodriguez crafty submissions.

Rosa postured up over him, but goes back down and tries to land a few punches. Postured up again and lands an elbow and then a few punches.

Rodriguez throws up a triangle choke and lands a few elbows into the equation. Rosa manages to pull his head out and stays on top. There’s a scramble and Rodriguez is now turtled up with Rosa over him. Rosa rolls nicely into the crucifix position, but Rodriguez escapes and they get back up.

Rodriguez lands a good kick. Undeterred Rosa lands another takedown. This time Rosa manages to get into side control. Rodriguez almost gets him back to guard, lands an upkick and then does get back to full guard.

A few punches and elbows from Rosa. He postures up momentarily and Rodriguez catches him with an upkick. Rosa back in there though and lands some good ground and pound as the fight comes to an end.

Decision:

High octane entertainment there from both men and each had their moments with Rodriguez being exciting to watch on the feet with his varied arsenal of kicks and crafty of his back with submissions, while Rosa hung tough in the striking and had the edge in wrestling and takedowns. It’s close enough that we’ve got a split decision verdict here, but it’s Rodriguez who emerges with his hand raised (29-28 x2, 28-29).

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