“He’s still an 18-year-old kid that is unpolished and hasn’t been tested even one time,” Perrin told reporters Wednesday at UFC 282 media day. “Not even once has he faced any kind of adversity. And on Saturday, you’re about to see what that looks like for him.”
Perrin, 29, welcomes 18-year-old Rosas to the UFC officially Saturday night in a preliminary-card bantamweight bout at T-Mobile Arena. Rosas, a Mexican fighter who’s 6-0 in his early career, got a taste of the big stage this past September when he dominated Mando Gutierrez for a unanimous decision win at Dana White’s Contender Series 55 that was good enough to earn his first UFC contract while he was still only 17.
Perrin (10-6) is off to an 0-2 start in his UFC tenure, and he’s keen on what people expect to happen Saturday night. Perrin said he “kind of figured” why the UFC chose him as Rosas’ debut opponent, but he believes he matches up “quite well” with him.
“I believe that he is a very talented young man. I don’t have anything against him personally,” Perrin said. “His skill is – I think people are enamored with how old he is and not the actual skill level. We’re at the UFC. This is the top of the world, correct? So now we have to start talking to him like we would anybody else that’s not 18, 17, whatever the hell age he is. If I fought and was as sloppy as (his) last fight was, you can say whatever you’d like. But there was definitely some unpolished stuff that happened in there.
“I’m not gonna pull guard seven times. I’m not gonna do that. I’m not gonna do all of these things that his opponent gave him in that fight. Again, I think you’re enamored with how old he is and all the hype around him and not the actual skill set. And that’s what I’m looking at. … As a complete fighter, I don’t see him on the same level as I am.”
Right after earning his first contract, Rosas declared he will “become the youngest UFC champion when I’m like 19, 20, 21.” That attitude right there? That’s something Perrin takes umbrage with.
“Word. Great for you, dude. Everyone wants to be that, and I want to be Santa Claus,” Perrin said. “Like, get out of my face. ‘I’m gonna get a world title shot in two fights.’ Bro, I don’t know who’s talking to you like that and telling you that’s the case, but you need to get new friends. … It’s a nice goal to have. It’s nice to say. But before he’s 20? Stop. What is that, a year from now?
“If he gets in the top 10 in a year, I’m writing a strongly worded email to somebody. They’re getting a letter of some kind.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 282.