MMA prodigy Raul Rosas Jr looks set to make history on Tuesday evening when he becomes the youngest ever fighter in UFC history.
The 17-year-old, who boasts the same “Problem Child” nickname as YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul, is already 5-0 as a professional having proven himself on Ultimate Warrior Challenge shows.
But now he is preparing to make his UFC debut in Las Vegas when he takes on 25-year-old Mando Gutierrez in the latest edition of Dana White’s Contender Series.
It has not been straightforward for Rosas Jr, though, as he was forced to secure a special licence because of his age.
That licence is expected to be confirmed by the Nevada Athletic Commission later today.
And he will then be free to break the age record previously held by Chase Hooper – who signed for the company at 19.
Rosas, who is set to earn a full UFC contract should he beat Gutierrez, has slammed those who do not believe a 17-year-old should be competing against men.
Speaking to MMA Junkie, he said: “Those people don’t know much about fighting in my opinion,” Rosas said.
“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.
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“To all those haters, I don’t really care. They can say whatever they want.”
Rosas’ incredibly quick rise in the MMA world came off the back of him beating men twice his age.
He consistently proved age was no barrier as he turned pro and began winning against fighters with heaps more experience.
He added: “I was 15 when I started my amateur career.
“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.”
Rosas may be a teenager, but he has already set himself the goal of becoming the youngest ever UFC champion.
That record is currently held by Jon Jones – who won the light-heavyweight title at 23.
But Rosas said: “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.”
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