UFC Shenzhen Results: Karol Rosa Takes Back-and-Forth Fight by Split Decision

UFC Shenzhen Karol Rosa
Credit: Future FC Facebook

Karol Rosa and Lara Procopio threw down to kick off UFC Shenzhen, with Rosa taking a split decision in her promotional debut.

Karol Rosa and Lara Procopio kick off UFC Shenzhen in the bantamweight division, each making their UFC debut.

Karol Rosa comes in with an 11-3 record with four knockouts and two submissions, and has finished her last two opponents. She is a training partner of champion Jessica Andrade and has shared the cage with UFC veteran Larissa Pacheco and recent signee Melissa Gatto in her career.

Lara Procopio has yet to lose in her career, coming into her promotional debut with a 6-0 record. Half of the Nova Uniao product’s wins have come by stoppage. In her last two fights, the Brazilian has won both the bantamweight and flyweight titles in Shooto Brasil.

Procopio immediately went to a couple of low leg kicks, while Rosa was landing crisp one-twos with consistency. It was an aggressive start for both fighters, but it was Procopio who was getting caught more often. Rosa was snapping the head of Procopio back with straight right hands. Defense was not on the menu in this fight, as both fighters were landing at a high percentage. A straight right temporarily wobbled Procopio, but nothing came of it and they kept throwing. Procopio was the one leading exchanges, but Rosa’s counter-punching was on point. Each fighter was doing their fair share of damage in the first round. Procopio landed a nice combination into a clinch to end the round in what was a fiery start to the fight night.

Cageside Press scored the round 10-9 Rosa

The Brazilians picked up where they left off, throwing constantly. Procopio began to mix in clinch attempts like she did at the end of the final round, perhaps to give Rosa a different look. Rosa was able to establish a Muay Thai clinch and land a pair of knees to the body. Procopio shot for a takedown for the first time in the fight, but Rosa defended easily. A stiff jab snapped the head of Rosa back, then a leg kick caused Procopio to fall to her back. Being a jiu-jitsu specialist, Procopio invited Rosa to take top position, but Rosa simply kicked the legs a few times and stepped back. Hard punches landed each way, with Procopio landing some solid shots on a resilient Rosa.

Cageside Press scored the round 10-9 Rosa

Rosa landed aggressively to start the final round, but Procopio kept coming forward. A huge right hand dropped Procopio, but Rosa did not follow her to the mat. When Procopio returned to her feet, she was met with a solid knee to the body. The fight started to become all Karol Rosa in the final round after plenty of back-and-forth exchanges. Procopio was desperately shooting for takedowns, but Rosa defended cleanly. A strong fight to start UFC Shenzhen.

Cageside Press scored the round 10-9 Rosa (30-27 Rosa)

Karol Rosa def. Lara Procopio by Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)

Check out all the results from UFC Shenzhen here!