Thursday, September 29, 2022

17-Year-Old Raul Rosas Jr. Feeling Confident Ahead Of DWCS Fight

Plenty of young fighters have come to the UFC through Dana White’s Contender Series, but 17-year-old Raul Rosas Jr. is looking to become the youngest fighter in the promotion’s history.

The aptly nicknamed “El Niño Problema” currently holds a 5-0 record since making his pro debut in late 2021. All of his bouts have been contested for Mexican promotion Ultimate Warrior Challenge (UWC) and the 17-year-old has finished every opponent he’s faced so far.

Rosas spoke to Mike Heck of MMA Fighting after he officially signed on for DWCS, and the bantamweight says his admittedly short pro career has all been leading up to this chance at a UFC contract.

Rosas has spent his entire pro career competing for UWC in Mexico. (UFC Fight Pass)

“I already had a plan, so I really knew this was gonna happen,” Rosas said. “So I had a plan that if I wanted to make this thing come true, I had to fight back to back like I’ve been doing. So, that’s why I would go in there and finish the fights quick. So I would come out without any injury, and I would be back in the gym on Monday already training for the next fight.”

“I’m Not A Normal 17-Year-Old”

Rosas may be looking to make UFC history, but earning a contract is far from a sure thing. The 17-year-old will be facing Mando Gutierrez, who is 7-1 as a pro and has only gone the distance once in his career.

“El Niño Problema” knows he has plenty of doubters due to his age and relative inexperience, but he doesn’t expect for that to affect his performance.

“I don’t really give a lot of attention to the critics, because I know what I’ve done to get here. Because I wasn’t really a normal kid…I’ve been dedicating my life to this, I wouldn’t even be able to go to parties with friends or go to Halloween or celebrate this or that, because I would be in the gym training. I’m not a normal 17-year-old, but September 20th I’m gonna show why I’m ready and I’m gonna shut up all the critics.”

Rosas (top) defeated José Guadalupe Peñaloza at UWC 34 in May. (UFC Fight Pass)

Even if Rosas does manage to pick up a victory, Dana White typically only hands out contracts to fighters that win dominantly. His youth alone may make any sort of win impressive enough, but the 17-year-old has every intention of stopping Gutierrez in front of the UFC president.

“I’m just gonna go out there and I’m just gonna try to finish the fight every second of the fight… I just know that my style and everything I do is just gonna impress Dana White, and I’m just gonna go out there and try and finish the fight and put on a show for y’all.”

DWCS standout Bo Nickal was given a second fight rather than being signed outright after his own win in August, but Rosas was quick to dismiss that idea for himself. “El Niño Problema” feels he’s ready to compete in the UFC right now, and he’ll look to prove that against Gutierrez on September 20.

What do you think of 17-year-old Rosas’ confidence level heading into his Contender Series bout?

Related Articles