Raul Rosas Jr. is a confident young man.
Rosas, 18, dispatched of Jay Perrin via first round rear-naked choke submission (watch highlights) in his promotional debut at UFC 282 back in Dec. 2022, extending his unbeaten streak to seven. Despite his record-breaking youth and inexperience, UFC had the prospect kickoff its big year-end pay-per-view (PPV) main card.
Rosas will do so once again in his sophomore appearance against Christian Rodriguez at UFC 287 this weekend (Sat., April 8, 2023) in Miami, Florida. The teen’s treatment hasn’t come without criticism, though, as fellow fighters on the card — like ranked Middleweight contender, Chris Curtis — vented their frustrations after first seeing the card’s line up.
“I don’t know who said that, but at the end of the day, they’re all just hating and they should take some notes if they want to be on the pay-per-view main card,” Rosas said at UFC 287 media day (via MMA Fighting). “They should take some notes and learn some stuff from me.
“I got in the UFC and I’m already on the pay-per-view, not like other ranked fighters that are prelim fighters. I don’t want to say names,” he concluded.
Rosas’ card placement this early in his career could surely be attributed to his rise and popularity through Dana White’s Contender Series, where he won his UFC contract with a unanimous decision over Mando Gutierrez. Regardless, the blue-chipper was surprised to see his fame come at the speed it has. The Bantamweight anticipates fighting Top 15 competition after four or less more wins.
“I didn’t [expect it to happen this quickly], but I’m not surprised,” Rosas said. “Like I said, this spot on the pay-per-view wasn’t given, it was earned. I earned it through all my hard work and just everything I do.
“I think I’m a pay-per-view fighter and I’m a perfect fighter to open up this pay-per-view card, because not only am I fighter, I’m a showman, a performer, and I’m going to go out there and put on a show and get the people turned up for the rest of the card,” he concluded.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 287 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 287: “Pereira vs. Adesanya 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.