Up-and-coming bantamweight sensation Raul Rosas Jr. will make his return to the Octagon as part of the Noche UFC event this weekend in Las Vegas, and “El Niño Problema” is on a mission to prove he’s still the next big thing at 135 pounds, despite suffering the first loss of his pro career at UFC 287 last April in Miami.
“Everything I’ve said in the past, all the goals I’ve set in the past, nothing has changed,” Rosas told reporters at Wednesday’s Noche UFC media day (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “Everything remains the same. I meant everything. If you bring up something I’ve said in the past, I’ll still admit to it. I still think the same way. Nothing has changed.”
Rosas (7-1), who will compete in his third UFC fight at the age of 18, told his fellow fighters to “take notes” and learn how to become a pay-per-view (PPV) star, not long after declaring his intention of becoming the promotion’s first triple champ.
Those remarks did not age well with his loss to the unranked Christian Rodriguez.
“I got more love than hate,” Rosas insisted. “Everyone telling me since I lost that they can’t wait to see me come back, so I appreciate that, but of course, there was hate too. I knew this is how the sport is. Even if Khabib would come back and lose, the fans would turn their back on him. Every time I would go to a UFC event and saw a star of the show, he lost, everyone would turn their back on him, so we knew since we were little that that’s how the sport is, so it doesn’t really matter.”
In short, only the champions get to talk smack.
Rosas is scheduled to compete against 33 year-old Terrence Mitchell on the Noche UFC main card. Mitchell (14-3) made his Octagon debut against Cameron Saaiman back in July but fell to the South African upstart by way of first-round technical knockout.