Dana White heaps praise on new UFC signing Raul Rosas Jr

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UFC president Dana White has explained why he decided to sign Raul Rosas Jr and make him the youngest fighter in UFC history.

There are plenty of athletes across the sporting world who have enjoyed success in their teenage years, with many of them going on to achieve great things. What we rarely see, though, is teenagers having that kind of early rise in mixed martial arts.

It’s well-known that MMA is one of the fastest growing sports on the planet but it often takes years to perfect your craft, or at the very least, get it to a level that would garner interest from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Alas, it’s always fun to see someone break the status quo, which is why fans were fascinated to see 17-year-old Raul Rosas Jr receive a contract with the promotion last night on the Contender Series.

After receiving a special license that would allow him to compete in Nevada, Rosas Jr put on a clinic to defeat Mando Gutierrez via unanimous decision at the UFC Apex.

His control inside the Octagon was something to behold, to the point whereby many were calling for Dana White to sign him.

That’s exactly what the boss wound up doing and in his post-fight media scrum, White went into more detail about what led to his decision.

Video: Dana White praises Raul Rosas Jr

“What a war, what a technical fight it was,” White said. “Both guys pushed themselves as hard as they could, and for a 17-year-old to conduct himself the way he did in this fight, I was blown away by it. Blown away.”

White was then asked whether or not Rosas was too young to compete in the UFC, despite him receiving a contract.

“Not off what I just saw, not off what I just saw. After what I just saw, this kid is ready to fight in the UFC.

“I’m very, very impressed with this kid. He’s absolutely special. The amount of fighter that were blowing me up going, ‘Oh my god, this kid is for real. This kid is legit. Impressive.’”

One step beyond

As if Rosas Jr wasn’t impressive enough, it’s even more terrifying when you realise he’ll be competing at bantamweight – a division that’s already considered to be the most stacked in the entire company.

You’d have to think they’ll take their time with building him up in an effort to avoid jumping the gun, but there’s no way of getting around the fact that this is an unbelievably exciting prospect.

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