18-year-old Raul Rosas Jr suffered his first loss to Chris Rodriguez by unanimous decision on the main card of UFC 287 Miami. Rosas was take Rodriguez down in the first round but when Rosas slowed he was manhandled by the stronger Rodriguez.
On his Timbo Sugar Show podcast, O’Malley suggested that Rosas should take a few years off and get stronger.
“I called that. I said I think Christian Rodriguez is going to be too much,” O’Malley said “(He) trains at a good f*cking gym. Doesn’t mean Raul Rosas Jr. is done, but I mean, where do you go from here? Maybe you don’t even sign him at that age – you let him fight for two, three years, rack up some more wins. … But UFC, that’s the risk they’re willing to take. ‘Hey, we’re going to have a potential star.’ He still can be. I don’t know.
“I said he’s going to come out frantic, try to do what he does probably to most people at the gym: take him down, take their back, choke them. But if not, he’s going to gas. He can’t keep that pace.”
UFC president Dana White seems like he’s still invested in the 18-year-old Rosas and will continue to give him more shots.
At the UFC 287 postfight press conference, White spoke about Rosas’ loss.
“It happens. He’s a young kid. I had that two rounds to one. He’s got a lot of growing to do,” said White.
“He’s got a lot of work to do. People love him. This isn’t as damaging to him. Nobody really goes undefeated in this sport. It’s very, very hard to do. He’s just got to get back on the horse and keep going.”
“There’s a thing between 18-year old strength and 25-year old man strength, and the other kid was a really good grappler,” continued White. “This kid has a ton of room to grow. (UFC 287) was a good experience for him, and that’s what this sport is all about… He was right in there. I had it 2 to 1, and he’ll get better.”