On paper the bout looked like a good defense for Ancajas, there was however a sense that the Filipino skillster was facing an opponent that was made to order, with Rodriguez being an aggressively minded, pressure fighter, who gives plenty of openings. That feeling of Rodriguez being the perfect foil for Ancajas proved to be true almost from the off, with Ancajas using Rodriguez's pressure against him from the opening seconds.
The Mexican went on the front foot immediately, trying to give Ancajas some early discomfort. Ancajas showed that he had scouted Rodriguez well and instead of being ruffled by Rodriguez we saw Ancajas land counter shots as will, swithcing between spiteful uppercuts and straight shots up top to whipping in full blooded body shots. Rodriguez, to his credit, knew his strength was in his aggressive style and knew his only way to win would be to take the fight to Ancajas, but the reality was that the Filipino was too sharp and too quick to be out worked or concerned by Rodriguez.
In round 2 Ancajas opened up more, using Rodriguez as a human punch bag at times and putting on a clinic in terms of counters and movement. He was making a decent fighter like Rodriguez look like a straight up up rookie, avoiding most of what was beign thrown his way and landing shot after shot of his own. In fact it wasn't until round 3 that Rodriguez seemed to have any impact on Ancajas, and the little impact he did have in round 3 ended up costing him as the Filipino upped the ante and seemed to hurt the Mexican in return.
Rodrgiuez's aggression then seemed to fade and in rounds 5 and 6 he was showing clear signs of slowing and was actually starting to be forced on to the back foot. As we'd seen against Kazuto Ioka, who Rodriguez had fought a few years ago, the Mexican cannot fight on the back foot and looked totally clueless when ever Ancajas forced him backwards. What was worse for Rodriguez was that he backed up in straight lines and that just allowed Ancajas to follow up and combination with a straight whilst he backed up.
Whilst Ancajas was in total control there was a sense that he was figthign well within himself, preferring to show case his skills rather than hunt a finish. That was particularly notable in round 7, with Rodriguez slowing to a near halt and Ancajas happy to go through the motions. It had a feel of a bout that could get frustrating for fans, until Rodriguez was seen by doctors at the start of round 8, and cited a shoulder issue that eventually forced the bout to be stopped, after some confusing moments from the doctor, the fighter and the referee.
With the win Ancajas has made his first defense of the IBF title, and looked like a sensation at times, and will be lookign to make his second defense later this year. For Rodriguez it's hard to see where he goes, other than the domestic Mexican scene. With Super Flyweight being a rather packed division Ancajas willlikely see hi name linked to numerous other top fighters, including Naoya Inoue, Roman Gonalez, Kal Yafai and Takuma Inoue, and we wouldn't be surprised to see the Filipino in against a notable name by summer.