Rosas Jr. took on Gutierrez on this past Tuesday’s “Dana White’s Contender Series.” He needed to get a special license from the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) in order to compete on the show as a minor. Rosas Jr. got off to a solid start under the banner, exhibiting high-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills that had his foe in trouble. The 17-year-old signed with the UFC as the youngest fighter in history.
During the post-fight press conference, White shared his thoughts on Rosas Jr.’s performance.
“This fight was awesome for both of these guys, this was good for both of them. You got a guy who’s now 6-0 and Mando was 7-1 at the time,” White said. “What a war, what a technical fight it was. Both guys pushed themselves as hard as they could. For a 17-year-old to conduct himself the way he did in this fight, I was blown away by it, blown away.”
When asked if he would be worried about matchmaking ‘El Nino Problema’ right away, White responded to the contrary. He joked about hosting his fights outside of Las Vegas due to his age.
“Not off what I just saw. After what I just saw, this kid’s ready to fight in the UFC.”
“Yeah, probably shouldn’t have him fight in Vegas for a while,” White added. “He’s going to be bored as hell here, he would have to sit in his room the whole time. I’m very impressed with this kid, he’s absolutely special. The amount of fighters that were blowing me up, going, ‘oh my god! this kid is for real, this kid’s legit.’ Impressive.”
White Believes Rosas Jr. Is Special
White recalled the journey of former UFC welterweight Mickey Gall, who joined the promotion after a single bout. He believes Rosas Jr. has the potential to enjoy a successful career.
“This definitely isn’t that place but when you find, you know, look at Mickey Gall. He wasn’t 17 but he came here at 1-0. I brought Mickey Gall in off ‘Lookin’ For a Fight’ to fight CM Punk and he had a pretty good career here. He hung out here for a while, had some good fights, and did pretty well.
“If you find these kids that you think are talented and you end up being right, they last here. What I saw from this kid tonight, he looks special.”
White Heaped Praises on Rosas Jr.’s Performance
White expressed his admiration for Rosas Jr.’s performance, praising his active fighting style as a grappling specialist.
“That’s one of the things that impressed me the most. I loved how active he was. He’s not one of these guys that’s a jiu-jitsu guy that just lays around, and whatever. He’s always going for something, how slick he is, how he takes the back. When you get his back, how he can get out of it. Just everything that kid did tonight impressed me and especially his cardio.
“There was never an adrenaline dump where he looked exhausted at one point. There was never a low in the fight.”