LAS VEGAS – Since immediately after securing his UFC contract through Dana White’s Contender Series while he was still 17, Raul Rosas Jr. made it clear that he’s gunning for Jon Jones’ record to become the youngest champion in the promotion’s history.
Now 18 and with an official UFC win on his record after submitting Jay Perrin in Round 1 on Saturday night at UFC 282, that talk only ramped up even more.
“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.”
Remember: Rosas, who earned a $50,000 bonus for his effort, is still a senior in high school. He has things like a winter formal and prom night to look forward to, but it seems all he can think about is being a UFC champion. There’s really no rush. When it comes to breaking Jones’ record, time is on Rosas’ side as Jones didn’t win the title until he was 23. That gives Rosas five years to accomplish his goal.
Rosas (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) didn’t say he wants to be fast-tracked to a title shot, but it sure seems like he can’t wait to get there – already.
“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.”
First things first, though. Rosas looked polished in his UFC debut against a 29-year-old man. Perrin, of course, wasn’t necessarily selected as Rosas’ debut opponent to give him the toughest test. But still, we’re talking about an 18-year-old fighting in front of thousands of fans – who apparently loved him by the sound of their response.
All of it was something UFC president Dana White was impressed with.
“UFC jitters are absolutely real. It happens to all the guys,” White said. “I don’t care how good you are, how confident you are, all that stuff. It’s a real thing, and he overcame it tonight at a very young age. There’s a hysterical meme that people were sending me tonight of him in school next week. It’s pretty funny. But when you try to wrap your head around that and think about the tremendous pressure that this kid must be under to come in and fight in the UFC, it’s awesome.”
Said Rosas: “I’m really thankful that tonight was like a movie, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 282.
[Video] Youtube Raul Rosas Jr Becomes the Youngest Fighter in UFC History | DWCS FREE FIGHT
Week 9, Season 6 of Dana White’s Contender Series was one for the history books, as bantamweight Raul Rosas Jr became the youngest person in the show’s history to receive a contract after his unanimous decision victory over opponent Mando Gutierrez.
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