This past Saturday at Noche UFC, we saw a very intriguing bantamweight bout on the main card. 18-year-old phenom Raul Rosas Jr (8-1) was looking to bounce back from his first professional loss as he took on Terrence Mitchell (14-4).
This was a massive fight for Rosas Jr as he was looking to silence a lot of doubters. The last time we had seen Rosas Jr was back in April at UFC 287. That night, he took on Christian Rodriguez. Rosas Jr fought like a man who thought he would run right through Rodriguez.
However, when it was clear that Rodriguez wasn’t going to be put away in the first round, Rosas Jr ran into trouble. A lack of experience, cardio, and striking skills really did him in and he lost a decision. It was a humbling moment for Rosas Jr, but it was also a moment that forced him to go back to the drawing board.
On Saturday night, he looked focused and his striking looked sharp. Mitchell is a guy who starts fast and throws heat. He went right after Rosas Jr and Rosas Jr fired back. Rosas Jr dropped him bad with a left hand and then got into full mount. After some follow up shots, Rosas Jr got the TKO win and the crowd erupted at Noche UFC.
What’s next after Noche UFC?
The UFC has something really special in Raul Rosas Jr. It’s very rare that you have someone this talented at such a young age ready to compete on this level. That said, I believe the promotion is going to be very smart with Rosas Jr. Rosas Jr has superstar potential and with Mexican MMA exploding, Rosas Jr can become a major face for the promotion.
Given that he’s just 18, expect the promotion to continue building him up slowly. I would expect a slightly more known name in his next fight, but in terms of level, I wouldn’t expect a massive jump in competition. I could see someone like a Ronnie Lawrence being next. Perhaps they re-sign Trevin Jones who just got a win over former UFC title challenger Wilson Reis and bring him in to fight Rosas Jr.
Ultimate Fighter alums Brady Hiestand and Ricky Turcios could also be names to watch. You get my point. Rosas Jr is going to be brought up at a gradual pace and I expect him to thrive with the UFC guiding his career.