17-year-old Raul Rosas Jr. believes he’ll be talked about more than Bo Nickal after Sept. 20 DWCS fight


Raul Rosas Jr. may be scheduled to be the youngest fighter in the history of Dana White’s Contender Series later this month, but he feels that he’ll also be the most talked about at the end of the season.

The 17-year-old bantamweight prospect faces Mando Gutierrez on the Sept. 20 DWCS fight card at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The opportunity for Rosas to face Dana White, the UFC matchmakers, has caused much intrigue. It’s similar to Bo Nickal’s debut. When asked if he’ll be talked about more than Nickal, a decorated collegiate wrestler turned MMA fighter with a ton of hype, he was confident.

“I think it will be me,” Rosas told MMA Fighting. “I like Bo Nickal and I’m surprised that he didn’t receive the contract .”


Rosas is 5-0 with five finishes in his young pro career, which all took place in Mexico MMA promotion UWC. Don’t let the age and low number of pro fights fool you, however, because the California standout has a lot of experience in the cage.

“My first MMA fight was in the kid’s cage – I was 8 years old,” Rosas said. “My first [official] amateur fight I was 15.

” I’ve been fighting since I was 8 up to 14 for the children [circuit],. I have lost only twice, and that was all I can remember. I was 20-2. My last fights with that, I went to Rome, Italy and competed at the worlds in the 14-15 year-old bracket and beat Russia, Lebanon, England, and got first place. When I came back home, I realized I was already the best kid in the world and I had nothing [more] to prove [there], so made my amateur debut at 15.”

It wasn’t as simple as saying yes to taking a fight on DWCS. Because of his age, Rosas, who is being home schooled for his senior year of high school, needed to do some extra work behind the scenes with help from his manager Jason House and his parents.

“My management did a lot of the work, but a lot had to be done,” Rosas explained. My parents also had to agree [with] to be a notary [and explain] to why I was selected to compete in the Contender Series.

“Yeah, there’s a lot of my parents’ signatures on a lot of papers, so a lot of paperwork had to be done for this.”

While Rosas would like people to concentrate on his skill, it is important to mention his age. Rosas will turn 18 on October. Rosas is aware that there might be people who are critical or curious about a young fighter fighting on such an important stage.

” I don’t pay too much attention to critics because I know how I got here,” Rosas stated. Rosas said, “I was not a typical kid going to school and doing homework. I had a vision of what I wanted from the time I was a little girl.

” My dad used to tell us that if we wanted to become fighters we would have to excel at it.

” All my life I went to school. I didn’t go home. Before training, I did my homework in the gym and devoted my entire life to it. Because I was training, I did not go out with my friends to celebrate Halloween or go to other parties. I’m not a normal 17-year-old, and Sept. 20, I’m going to show why I’m ready and shut up all the critics.”

Rosas already feels he can compete with some of the top names in the UFC’s loaded 135-pound division, and hopes he could one day share the octagon with one of his favorite fighters one day in Jose Aldo.

A big fan of Tony Ferguson, Rosas plans on putting on a show when the bright lights are upon him against Gutierrez, a 7-1 Michigan fighter who’s competed multiple times under the LFA banner.

“I’m going out there to try and finish every second of the fight,” Rosas said. Rosas stated, “If the fight goes for three rounds it will go three. But I am going to try and win every round.” Even if I’m on my back, I’m going to be fighting off my back, I’ll be putting pressure on him everywhere. Anywhere the fight takes me, I’m comfortable. You can clinch or grapple with me, and I feel at home everywhere.

” I know that my style will impress Dana White. So, I’m going try to finish Dana’s fight and put on a show .”