Dana White believes Raul Rosas
Jr. proved he was ready for the bright lights of the UFC with
his victory on the Contender Series Tuesday night.
The 17-year-old Las Vegas resident put on a grappling clinic en
route to a three-round verdict over Mando
Gutierrez, an opponent who was eight years his senior. Rosas
Jr. was active on the canvas, threatened with submissions and never
appeared to fatigue, and that was enough to earn a UFC contract
“For a 17-year-old to conduct himself the way he did in this fight,
I was blown away by it. Blown away,” White said at the evening’s
post-fight press conference. “After what I just saw, this kid’s
ready to fight in the UFC.”
With that, Rosas Jr. becomes the youngest fighter on the UFC
roster. According to White, a lack of experience shouldn’t be an
issue when someone is as talented as Rosas Jr.
“He’s absolutely special,” White said. “The amount of fighters that
were blowing me up, going, ‘Oh my God, this kid’s for real, this
kid’s legit,’ [it’s] impressive.
White pointed to Mickey
Gall, who entered the Las Vegas-based promotion with a 1-0
record, as an example as someone who can enjoy some measure of
success in the UFC despite a limited resume. Rosas Jr., meanwhile,
improved to 6-0 on Tuesday night.
“Mickey Gall wasn’t 17, but Mickey Gall came in here at 1-0. I
brought Mickey Gall in off ‘Lookin’ For A Fight ‘to fight CM Punk,
and he had a pretty good career here,” White said. “He hung out
here for a while and had some good fights and did pretty well. If
you find these kids that you think are talented and you end up
being right, they’ll last here. And what I saw from this kid
tonight, he looked special.”
Rosas doesn’t lack for confidence, and he has already set some
pretty lofty goals for himself.
“I’m just ready to fight every week, every month,” Rosas said. “I
don’t even care, all gas, no brakes. I’ll rest when I’m retired,
when I’m old, right now we’re just getting started so there’s no
reason to take a break.
“I know it won’t be easy. Nothing’s easy in this life, but I will
become the youngest UFC champion, I don’t care what it takes.
Nobody’s going to take this away from me. If I could fight a guy
from the top 5 for my UFC debut, I would, but I’ve got to work my
way up there and I will. I will be up there soon. I will become the
youngest UFC champion when I’m 19, 20, 21. It doesn’t matter.”
Jones still holds the record for becoming the youngest UFC
champion, as he was 23 years old when he defeated Mauricio Rua
to capture light heavyweight gold. Rosas Jr. claims he won’t
succumb to the pressure of fighting in the world’s largest MMA
“I’m using everybody as my warm-up. I don’t care who you put in
front of me, I never get nervous,” he said. “Even though I’m 17,
I’m going to experience fighting, and I’m coming for everybody, I
don’t care who it is. Even if I have to go fight right now, I’ll go
fight right now, I don’t even care.”
17-Year-Old Raul Rosas Jr. ‘Looked Special’ in Contender Series Win