Chris De La Rocha’s back was against the wall at UFC 225 — and he showed up game, engaging in a wild brawl with Rashad Coulter.
Opening up the televised preliminary card at UFC 225 was a heavyweight showdown between Rashad Coulter and the returning Chris De La Rocha. There was a simple selling point to the bout: these two loved to stand and bang. With De La Rocha detailing his time away from the octagon due to injury to Cageside Press leading up to the fight, however, there was a question of how he’d look after two years away.
De La Rocha hit the cage on a two-fight slump, the first two losses of his career. At age 39, his window was quickly closing. Rashad Coulter, meanwhile, was on a two-fight losing streak of his own. Both men had their backs against the wall, something that often leads to fireworks.
De La Rocha circled on the outside early, flashing his jab before dropping levels for a takedown that Coulter easily slipped. The pair clinched with De La Rocha working for head position and pressing Coulter against the fence. Coulter launched a knee, shades of the one that dropped Rashad Evans earlier in the night. He then clipped De La Rocha, but the older fighter survived and returned fire. Coulter got a little too wild, went off balance and wound up on his back. That allowed Chris De La Rocha to get on top and drop some heavy ground strikes, opening up a cut on Coulter. Coulter gave up the back, and De La Rocha worked for a rear-naked choke. But Coulter reversed, and while De La Rocha escaped to his feet, he was soon rocked! Somehow he stayed up, eating more heavy shots. A heavyweight version of a Tasmanian Devil spin cycle ensued, with both fighters clipping each other. Wow! Both men were hurt, and De La Rocha finished the round with a takedown.
In the second, Chris De La Rocha came out swinging early, and rocked Coulter. That set things up for a takedown, and once Coulter was down, he wasn’t getting back up. The only problem, an exhausted De La Rocha had burned out his arms something fierce. He switched to a choke at times, dropped punches and elbows, and though seemingly moving in slow motion towards the end, finally got enough strikes in for the ref to wave it off. A thrilling first round, a bit of a slower second frame but a great start to the UFC 225 televised card.
— UFC (@ufc) June 10, 2018
Chris De La Rocha def. Rashad Coulter by TKO, Round 2, 3:53