Raul Rosas Jr. isn’t old enough to drink in the US, but the 17-year-old will soon be fighting in the UFC after dominating his opponent in Dana White’s Contender Series and making history as the organization’s youngest fighter .
The Mexican bantamweight, who says he’s been hitting grown men for as long as he can remember, picked up an impressive decision victory over 25-year-old Mando Gutierrez on Tuesday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
After the fight, it was announced that Rosas would indeed land a full-time contract with the UFC, with the organization’s president, Dana White, singing the praises of “The Problem Child.”
“There was absolutely nothing to discuss. We didn’t even talk about it. I’ve never seen anything like it,’ White said.
“He’s absolutely positively talented. He is special. He is different. At 17, you just don’t see kids treating themselves that way.
“I’m very, very impressed with this kid. He is absolutely special. The crowd of fighters who blew me up were like, ‘Oh my God. This kid is real. This kid is legitimate. Impressive.”
Rosas is undefeated as a pro and signing up with the world’s largest MMA organization will be absolutely life changing for him and his family.
“It would mean a lot to me,” Rosas said before the fight. “I will change the life of my family. i will change my life It would just mean a lot to me.
“Like I said, I’ll be happy, but not satisfied. The goal is the UFC title and becoming the youngest UFC champion. I just want this contract to be one step closer to my dream.”
Since turning professional, the Mexican says promoters have often been reluctant to book him because of his age – but their doubts have diminished significantly after seeing Rosas dominating those put before him.
“I don’t think these people know much about fighting,” Rosas said. “You only see a 17-year-old. They just say, ‘Oh, a 17-year-old.’ They think I’m a normal kid who’s 17 years old.
“I’m a different kind of 17-year-old. When they were at parties, when they were on summer vacation, I’d be at the gym working my ass off.
“Even when I was little, I knew what I wanted. I know what I want and I’m going to go out there and get it.
Due to his age, Rosas Jr. had to get permission from his parents and sponsors to get a license to fight in the Octagon.
“All I had to do was a notary. My boyfriend signed it,” the teenage sensation said.
“It’s the only thing I had to do [my manager] Jason House did the rest. I think he sent a film to the commission and said why I was willing to compete at this level and the commission agreed.’
Rosas Jr. has vowed to be the UFC champion by the time he’s 20.
The youngest fighter to date in the competition was featherweight Chase Hooper, who was 19 when he was also signed by the Contender Series.