Raul Rosas Jr. and Mando Gutierrez Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
Raul Rosas Jr. isn’t done making history.
The undefeated 17-year-old became the youngest signing in UFC history on Tuesday, earning a Dana White Contender Series contract after defeating Mando Gutierrez by unanimous decision. Post-fight, Rosas spoke to the media and declared that soon he will also break the record the youngest UFC champion ever.
“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.”
The record for youngest UFC champion is currently held by Jon Jones, who defeated Mauricio Rua to capture a title at the age of 23 and 242 days. That gives Rosas (6-0) plenty of time to achieve his goal, assuming everything goes according to plan.
That also puts an enormous amount of pressure on Rosas, though he said that has never been a factor that has affected him ahead of his fights.
“I honestly didn’t have no pressure,” Rosas said of any possible pre-Contender Series fight jitters. “But even if I had pressure, pressure makes diamonds. Because I know what I have. I wasn’t even nervous backstage. If you see the videos that they took, if they release them, I was just taking a nap. I woke up on the last fight and I started just warming up a little bit.
“I’m using everybody as my warm-up. I don’t care who you put in front of me, I never get nervous. 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.”
Rosas competes in the bantamweight division, one of the strongest fields in all of MMA, with the UFC roster currently topped by marquee names like Aljamain Sterling, Petr Yan, T.J. Dillashaw, Cory Sandhagen, and Merab Dvalishvili. While Rosas understands that it could be some time before he gets a crack at any of them, he doesn’t think fans will have to wait long to see him make his UFC debut.
“When’s the next event?” Rosas asked. “I want to fight next week. Whoever they put in front of me, I’m ready to go get the kill.”
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