UFC: Raul Rosas Jr., 17, to fight in UFC with special license for minors

Although Raul Rosas Jr. almost old enough to buy a beer or get a driver’s license, he is, nevertheless, permitted by law to participate in an MMA match against an adult.

In the history of this sport, it’s been unheard of for a 17-year-old to fight professionally in the UFC. But Rosas is very familiar with it, though. He has bested grown men for as long as it has been physically possible-possibly even longer. He changed the unwritten rules in Mexico regarding what a “child” could accomplish inside an MMA cage.

“I was 15 when I started my amateur career,” Rosas recently said in an interview for MMA Junkie. “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 and his group had to go through a lot of hoops to secure verbal approval from government officials. He had to apply for a special license with the consent of his sponsors and parents.

“The commission already approved it. I already did all the paperwork. All I had to do was a notary. My friend signed it. That’s the only thing that I had to do. Jason House did all the rest. I think he sent film to the commission and said why I’m ready to compete at this level and the commission approved.”

Raul Rosas Jr knows he will be underestimated for his age

Just hours before his bout on Dana White’s Contender Series against Mando Gutierrez, the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) meeting on Tuesday is likely to finally put the license on the record (7-1).

Rosas has earned a 5-0 record since turning pro. Due to his advanced age, there was at first some hesitancy to book him, but with each victory, that hesitation grew less.

However, when he focused on American competition, it came back full force in the court of public opinion-possibly stronger than before.

Rosas asserted that his detractors fail to recognize that he is not like other 17-year-olds. “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. To all those haters, I don’t really care. They can say whatever they want.”