by Dane McGuire
Raul Rosas Jr shocked the world by earning a first-round submission finish at UFC 282 in his debut. Rosas Jr is still in high school, now home-schooled, making him the youngest fighter in UFC history.
After the completion of special forms at the time, Rosas Jr was allowed to compete on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, earning a UFC contract. Prior to this, Rosas Jr fought in a modified form at the youth level under the United States Fight League.
He became a 2019 youth world champion under the UFC-partnered International Mixed Martial Arts Federation before turning pro. Rosas Jr defeated Jay Perrin via face crank in 2:44. By earning the finish, he was among several finishers to earn $50,000 bonuses.
“Man, this is crazy, but I knew I was going to be here at this age,” he said. “So right now I’m just living the dream. I had no nerves, no pressure, felt free. I’m doing what I love to do. And right now, tonight, I just came to introduce myself, because I’m coming for that belt.”
“I feel really happy but not satisfied. I’m ready to step back in there as soon as possible and get what I really want, which is a title,” Rosas told reporters, including MMA Junkie, backstage at T-Mobile Arena. “…
The victory came out as planned, right? But what I’m saying is I still don’t have what I want. What I want is the belt right here with me. So I’m still not satisfied. I’m happy with my performance tonight, but I’m still not satisfied until that belt is wrapped around my waist.”
“Right now all I see is gold,” Rosas said. “I don’t really know any names outside of the top 15. Whoever I have to get through to get to that belt, I’m gonna get through.”
Rosas later said he will use the bonus money to buy his mother a minivan. As multiple outlets have reported, Rosas said he does not yet have a driver’s license.
“Not yet, if I’m being honest. I haven’t had time to go out there and get my license,” he told Cageside Press. “I can drive, I know how to drive, but my family does not trust me. But I like to be the passenger, I like to chill a little bit.
Because going to practice, I can chill a little bit, but if I’m driving, I gotta be watching out. For me, I don’t have to get my license. My brother can be my Uber, and he can keep driving me anywhere.”
Rosas Jr has until age 23 to beat Jon Jones’ record and become the youngest ever UFC champion. Rosas Jr. has earned six of his seven career victories by stoppage.