Raul Rosas was supposed to be the next big thing in the UFC.
Rosas became the youngest UFC fighter in history when he secured a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series at just 17 years old.
He then became the youngest winner in UFC history at just 18 years old when he submitted Jay Perrin at UFC 282.
Rosas stated his goal is to become the youngest champion in UFC history. That honor currently belongs to Jon Jones. Jones was 23 years old when he won the Light Heavyweight championship from Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in 2011.
But the Rosas hype train his a bit of a speed bump recently when he lost to Cristian Rodriguez via decision at UFC 287.
Rosas still has plenty of time to accomplish his goal. But fellow UFC bantamweight Sean O’Malley suggests may it’s time for him to slow down a bit.
“There’s definitely guys in the division that he can go out there and beat, but I don’t even think he needs to out there and get a win, he needs to go out there and get better,” O’Malley said on his podcast, the “TimboSugarShow. “Two years, take two years off. Lift. F****** grind. Just get good. … Just don’t fight for a couple of years, get good.
“F****** improve everywhere, come back, you’re 20 years old. He wants to be the youngest champ, maybe that humbled him. It’s not not realistic. Take two years off, you’re 20, still have a possibility.”
Few are better suited to understand Rosas’ situation than O’Malley. Like Rosas, he made it to the UFC through the Dana White Contender Series. O’Malley was just 23 years old at the time and he won his first four UFC fights as hype began to build. But a TKO loss to Marlon “Chito” Vera slowed the hype.
O’Malley then built himself back up recently picked up a big victory over former champ Petr Yan to place himself firmly in the discussion for a title fight.
Rosas is still just 18 years old. He most likely has a long career ahead of him. So maybe O’Malley has a point. it’s time for him to slow things down a bit.
You never know until you find out.