As you might imagine for a 17-year old about to get his crack at a UFC contract, Raul Rosas Jr has been enamored with MMA from a young age. The son of a professional fighter, Rosas was in classes before he was in elementary school. The education didn’t stop in the dojo either. At home, the Rosas would put on fights and his dad would guide his children towards the style of fighters he hoped they’d emulate one day.
“Since I was little I was watching [the UFC]. That’s when it really caught my attention that I wanted to be one of those type of fighters because my dad would turn on the TV and put on the UFC,” Rosas said. “We would sit with him and watch it, and he would be like ‘hey, look. I want you to fight like that guy.”
Of all of the fighters, Rosas remembers one in particular that his dad wanted him to be like.
“I remember him specifically – we were watching Jon Jones – I didn’t know who Jon Jones was, but we were watching one of his fights,” he said. “My dad was like ‘I want you all to be like him. You see he’s well-rounded. He can go striking. He can go to the ground, clinch. He can wrestle. He can do anything.”
His dad noted that there were too many one dimensional fighters out there. Rather than getting good at striking or wrestling, he preferred his children to have a complete game from the very get go. That message stuck with Raul Jr, who developed an affinity for watching any fighter who was able to go precisely that.
“GSP, also. He would he was going to strike and go for the takedown,” Rosas said, identifying another major influence on his career. “He would mix it up really well too. Those are the types of fighters I really like to watch.”
You can see Rosas look to display his complete game this Tuesday on Dana White’s Contender Series. He fights Mando Gutierrez as the co-main event of week 9.
You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 39:01.