Raul Rosas Jr will be the youngest fighter to compete on Dana White’s Contender Series when he faces 25-year-old Mando Gutierrez tonight.
Rosas, 17, was granted a special license by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Tuesday, which allows him to compete. But the decision has come under scrutiny, including from former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen.
“A kid is coming on the Contender Series. He’s had five fights, all took place in Mexico. He’s gonna come out to the Apex, jurisdiction of Las Vegas, compete; youngest kid ever,” Sonnen said.
“I would tell you guys… you fight anyone, anytime, anywhere, or you’re a bully and you don’t belong here.
“There would be an exception to that I never once considered, which is a child. You do not have to go beat up a child. I would tell you that, but I never have because I’ve never been confronted with it. I’m just wondering what you think?” Sonnen added.
Rosas is undefeated in his five fights. He has competed in the Ultimate Warrior Challenge (UWC), an MMA organization based in Mexico.
He was 15 when he started his amateur year. He told MMA Junkie that he’s ready for Tuesday night.
“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,” Rosas said.
Sonnen commented further on the news:
“I do not have an opinion on this. It’s a very wild situation. A young man from California, who’s 17 years old, will represent the youngest contestant ever… If he goes out and wins, by the way, he should have every right,” Sonnen added.
“But a 17-year-old who gets parental consent, goes out there, gets taken down and sliced open with elbows by somebody who’s 28 or 29, it’s gonna feel very different.”