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17-Year-Old Raul Rosas Jr Looks to Make History on DWCS

Raul Rosas Jr UFC 287

Raul Rosas Jr
(Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

17-Year-Old Raul Rosas Jr Looks to Make History on DWCS

UFC history is on the line Tuesday night when Raul Rosas Jr steps into the octagon looking to win a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) and become the youngest ever fighter to be in the UFC.

At 17 years old Rosas is two years younger than Chase Hooper when he was signed to the UFC in 2019 as a 19-year-old. Similarly to Hooper, Rosas is an undefeated prospect holding a 5-0 record. All five wins for “El Nino Problema” or “The Problem Child” have come via finishes with four submissions and a TKO victory in his last fight.

As a top prospect from California Rosas was fighting in the Mexican promotion Ultimate Warrior Challenges (UWC) at bantamweight where he made his professional debut just under a year ago. In his pro debut, it took him just over a minute to submit his opponent with a rear-naked choke and it took him even less time to win his second fight needing a mere 54 seconds.

Despite being a pro for less than a year Rosas has been in the cage fighting long enough to have experience years ahead of his age.

“My first MMA fight was in the kid’s cage – I was 8 years old,” Rosas said in an interview with Mike Heck of MMA Fighting. “My first [official] amateur fight I was 15.”

Being only 17 has brought up a few issues for Rosas since the Nevada State Athletic Commission has an age limit of 18 for those fighting in professional boxing or MMA. In order to be allowed to fight, he needed to be approved for a license to fight in the state of Nevada, and to get that he needed lots of help from his parents and manager.

“My management did a lot of the work, but a lot had to be done,” Rosas explained to MMA Fighting. “I had to sign a few papers, and then my parents had to sign [with] a notary [and explain] why I should compete on the Contender Series.”

Now that he has been approved to fight, the only thing standing between Rosas and history is Mando Gutierrez, a 7-1 fighter riding a three-fight win streak whose only loss came by submission. The two will meet in the octagon in the fourth of five fights on the DWCS card on Tuesday, September 20, and expect a grappling match as six of Gutierrez’s wins have been by submission to go with Rosas’s four submission wins.

Even if we see history on Tuesday, Rosas will most likely be 18 years old by the time he would make his UFC debut since his birthday is early in October.

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