Christian Rodriguez Defeats Isaac Dulgarian By Split-Decision At UFC Fight Night 239

Christian Rodriguez found himself being completely shut down on the mat by Isaac Dulgarian for two rounds tonight at UFC Fight Night 239, but he then staged a comeback in the final five minutes as his opponent gassed out, leading to a split-decision victory.

Round One:

Calf kick for Dulgarian. Dulgarian in on an early takedown and lands it well. Dulgarian working in a few strikes and progresses to half-guard.

Rodriguez trying to scramble but Dulgarian is all over him and even threatens with a Peruvian neck-tie submission. Rodriguez escapes that, but can’t get away from Dulgarian who is straight back to controlling him from half-guard.

Rodriguez goes to his knees, then is scrambling again, but no matter what he does it seems Dulgarian is just stuck to him like glue.

Another scramble and Rodriguez almost got on top for a moment, but Dulgarian almost instantly regains control and brings him down again.

A little blood leaking from Rodriguez’s right eyebrow now as Dulgarian thinks about a submission, but then goes back to just absolutely dominating his opponent on the mat with wrestling control.

Round Two:

Jumping knee attempt from Rodriguez as Dulgarian comes in for a takedown, then goes for a guillotine choke as he drops down to the mat.

Dulgarian soon out of that attempt though and as he they scramble he attempts to take the back but fails. Rodriguez trying to get to an advantageous position, but Dulgarian is back in control as they go back to the feet and then he brings his opponent down again close to the cage.

Rodriguez gets to his knees and stands, but Dulgarian has his back and brings him down. Rodriguez stands and walks over to the cage with Dulgarian still clinching his back.

Rodriguez turns into him. Dulgarian looking for another takedown but does eat a sneaky knee to the head from Rodriguez. He takes that well though and brings him down again, but they are soon upright again.

Now Rodriguez manages to get back to striking range at last. Nice leg kick from Dulgarian. Rodriguez looking for strikes. Dulgarian tries a takedown, but this time Rodriguez stuffs it.

Dulgarian presses forward throwing punches down the pipe as he works back into the clinch. Dulgarian back around to Rodriguez’s back up against the cage.

Round Three:

A couple of jabs and a straight lands for Rodriguez. Dulgarian trying to work into a takedown attempt but nothing doing for now.

Dulgarian trying to strike into a takedown, but he’s looking tired now. Failed takedown attempt from Dulgarian and as he’s on the ground Rodriguez land a big kick to the body.

Now Rodriguez is taking Dulgarian’s back and landing ground-and-pound. Dulgarian looks spent. Rodriguez into full mount, then flattens out Dulgarian on his front again.

Rodriguez with ground-and-pound but he’s not going all-out for it. Dulgarian trying to get to his knees, but Rodriguez is looking for a choke. Back to punches now.

Dulgarian finally opt to his feet. He lands a couple of strikes, but not much behind them. Rodriguez has a bit more left in the tank and is throwing with more power. Not much defense from Dulgarian means he’s treading on thin ice here.

Dulgarian able to clinch up though and he’s trying to work for a late takedown here. It’s not going to happen, but it enables him to ride out the final second of the round.


For two rounds Dulgarian was utterly dominant with his impressive wrestling ability, but his relentless pace caught up with him in that final five minutes as he started running on empty, enabling Rodriguez to completely take over with strikes both on the feet and on the mat.

It looks there could be a case made for a draw here at most, but surprisingly two judges actually have Rodriguez winning, with the other seeing it in Dulgarian’s favor, so it’s Rodriguez who emerges with a split-decision victory (28-27 x2, 27-28).

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