Newly signed UFC bantamweight prospect Raul Rosas Jr. is looking to continue breaking records having become the youngest fighter on the roster.
While 10 fighters were in action looking to secure a contract on this week’s episode of Dana White‘s Contender Series, all eyes were on one 17-year-old hopeful who had the chance to make history.
Many didn’t know what to make of the decision to book Rosas Jr. on the show given that his age prevents him from competing in many states. But making the most of Nevada’s rules, the UFC gave “El Niño Problema” a shot, and it’s safe to say that he grabbed it with both hands and ran with it.
Against Mando Gutierrez, who was eight years his senior, Rosas Jr. impressed with his high-level grappling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. And after securing a unanimous decision win following 15 minutes of action, White surprised those who expected Rosas Jr. to be signed on a developmental basis by making him a full-fledged UFC fighter.
“All Gas, No Brakes” For Rosas Jr.
Having shown his fighting talents inside the cage earlier in the night, new signing Rosas Jr. put his confidence and self-belief on full display during his appearance at the post-fight press conference.
When asked what his contract-winning victory felt like, the Mexican bantamweight noted that it’s only the first step of an ambitious ladder that has “youngest UFC champion” towards the top.
“I’m thankful and blessed for this opportunity. It all took hard work,” Rosas Jr. said. “Now I’m just ready to go for everybody. All I see is gold. We already opened the first door. (I’m) another step closer to my dream to become the youngest UFC champion. I only showed a little bit of my skill. Y’all haven’t seen nothing yet… I can do way better.
“I don’t even care who you put in front of me… I’m coming for everybody, I don’t care who it is. Even if I had to go fight right now, I’ll go fight right now,” Rosas Jr. added. “I wanna fight this Saturday, but I hear there’s no event. I’ll fight whenever they have another event… I wanna fight next week.”
Reiterating his desire to make a fast and furious start inside the Octagon, Rosas Jr. claimed that he’d even accept a fight against a top-five UFC bantamweight on debut should it be offered to him.
But understanding the path that he’ll need to trek down, the 17-year-old insisted that he’ll do whatever and beat whoever it takes to reach the top.
“I’m ready to fight every week, every month, I don’t even care. I’m all gas, no brakes. I’ll rest when I’m retired. Right now, we’re just getting started,” Rosas Jr. stated. “I will become the youngest UFC champion; I don’t care what it takes. If I could fight a guy from the top five on my UFC debut, I would. But I’ve gotta work my way up, and I will.”
The youngest champ status is currently held by Jon Jones, who had light heavyweight gold wrapped around his waist aged 23.
Since then, many have sought to surpass his feat. As well as promising women’s flyweight Maycee Barber sharing a similar sentiment as Rosas Jr. following her own DWCS victory, Muhammad Mokaev became the latest to target the record-breaking achievement this year.
While it’s hard to gage Rosas Jr.’s potential at this point, especially when it comes to championship hopes, it’s safe to say that he at the very least has time on his side as the youngest-ever UFC fighter.
How high do you think Raul Rosas Jr.’s ceiling is in the UFC?