UFC president Dana White took a chance and booked 17-year-old prospect Raul Rosas Jr. to compete on Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series fight card.
Rosas became the youngest fighter to ever compete in White’s promotion and looked impressive, dominating Mando Gutierrez and winning by unanimous decision. Rosas also became the youngest fighter to receive a UFC contract.
“For a 17-year-old to conduct himself the way he did in this fight, I was blown away by it. Blown away,” White said during the event’s post-fight press conference at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
“After what I just saw, the kid is ready to fight in the UFC,” White added. “I’m very, very impressed with this kid. He’s absolutely special.”
Rosas competes in the bantamweight division. He took his first amateur fight at 15 and turned pro in November. In less than a year, Rosas has put together an undefeated 6-0 record.
“Just the amount of hard work and dedication that that kid has put into this sport already at 17-years-old. There’s a lot of people, maybe they screwed around with jiu-jitsu, or did some boxing or Muay Thai, but to be able to come to the Contender Series – And to put it in perspective, you’re talking about every Tuesday night the absolute best fighters in the world that are not signed by the UFC face-off here at the APEX, and he was one of them at 17-years-old,” White said.
“The amount of hard work and dedication that that kid has put in already is mind boggling. And what’s even crazier is, every week I’m telling you guys that I’m signing this kid and he’s 22, or I’m signing this kid and he’s 23. I’m not looking at people until they’re 25 or 26 and have great records. To not even hesitate to sign a kid at 17, he’s special. He’s very, very special,” said White.
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