- Raul Rosas Jr. could become the youngest fighter the UFC has ever signed at 17
- “El Nino Problema” said he used to fight grown men twice his age
- The teenager has already acquired special license from The Nevada Athletic Commission
It’s not everyday that MMA fans get to see a teenager make waves in the sport. In fact, it will be the first time in history that the UFC will sign a minor to compete professionally if 17-year-old phenom Raul Rosas Jr. earns a contract with the renowned promotion.
The Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) has already verbally approved Rosas’ special license and it’s underway to being official, possibly hours before his upcoming fight at Dana White’s Contender Series against Mando Gutierrez later today.
17-year-old-old Raúl Rosas Jr. might earn himself a UFC contract on the Contender Series tomorrow night pic.twitter.com/S5ZZSChedZ
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) September 19, 2022
Ahead of the fight, Rosas shared his thoughts about the sport and how he used to beat up grown men twice his age.
The problem child
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Rosas said he began fighting as an amateur roughly two years ago. And before he made his pro debut 17, he had already faced and dismantled guys “in their 30s.”
“I was 15 when I started my amateur career,” Rosas said. “Since it was an Indian area, it was mostly up to the promoter. We ended up convincing him and he ended up giving me the opportunity to fight on his card. I had one fight when I was 15 and then my other amateur fight I was 16. Then, I made my pro debut when I was 17. … I fought people who were in their 30s. The oldest fighter I fought was 33 or 34. The youngest one was like 25 or 26.”
A taxing road to an MMA career
Rosas said the journey to obtaining a special license to compete professionally was arduous. He and his team had to tap several people as the said license required a parental and sponsor permission. It’s all worth it in the end as they managed to get the approval of The Nevada Athletic Commission.
“The commission already approved it,” the teenager confirmed. “I already did all the paperwork. All I had to do was a notary. My friend signed it. That’s the only thing that I had to do. Jason House did all the rest. I think he sent film to the commission and said why I’m ready to compete at this level and the commission approved.”
Addressing the critics
As early as now, Rosas, who currently holds a flawless record of 5-0, already knows that critics will always be there to impose negativity. However, “El Nino Problema” vows to remain unfazed and let his game do the talking en route to becoming a UFC champion.
“Those people don’t know much about fighting in my opinion,” Rosas pointed out. “They just see a 17-year-old. They’re just like, ‘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 at summer vacation, I was at the gym, working my ass off. Since I was little, I knew what I wanted. I know what I want and I’m going to get out there and get it. To all those haters, I don’t really care. They can say whatever they want.”
“Say I become a UFC champion. The critics are still going to come,” he continued. “But the thing is if I was 25 years old right now and everything stayed the same, same strength, same skillset, same record, same finishes, everything, and I was in the same position but 25 years old, people would’ve looked at it different. But it doesn’t really matter. I don’t really care about their opinions. I do what I do best. I’m just going to get out there and get my contract… It would mean a lot to me,” Rosas said. “I will change my family’s life. I’ll change my life. It would just mean a lot to me. Like I said, I’ll be happy but not satisfied. The goal is that UFC title and to become the youngest UFC champion. I just want that contract to be able to get a step closer to my dream.”
Rosas is fighting out of Mexico and has finished all of his first five opponents as a pro. Is he the next UFC rising star? Let’s wait and see.