12 Youngest UFC Fighters of All Time (17-20 Years Old!)

Get ready to meet the rising stars of the UFC, the youngest fighters to step into the Octagon. From Raul Rosas Jr to Sage Northcutt, these prodigies have taken the MMA world by storm, all while barely out of their teens.

In this article, we'll delve into their journeys, exploring their accomplishments and the challenges they've faced. With the potential to become the youngest champions in UFC history, these fighters are poised to leave an indelible mark on the sport.

Prepare to witness greatness in the making.

Key Takeaways

  • Raul Rosas Jr, Dan Lauzon, Sage Northcutt, and Vitor Belfort all joined the UFC at a very young age, with Raul being the youngest at just 17 years old.
  • While some of the youngest UFC fighters have had successful careers and even become champions, others have struggled and eventually left the promotion.
  • Jake Matthews is an example of a young UFC fighter who has been able to maintain a long and successful career in the promotion, currently competing in 2022.
  • The success of young UFC fighters ultimately depends on their skills, experience, and ability to improve over time, and only time will tell if Raul Rosas Jr, Chase Hooper, and Iasmin Lucindo can achieve their goal of becoming champions at a young age.

Raul Rosas Jr: The Youngest UFC Fighter

Raul Rosas Jr made history as the youngest UFC fighter to join the roster at the age of 17. His path to the UFC was nothing short of remarkable.

Starting his journey in the world of mixed martial arts at the tender age of 15, Rosas Jr quickly made a name for himself as a talented and determined fighter. By the time he turned 17, he'd already made his amateur MMA debut and turned professional shortly after.

Raul's success and early entry into the UFC set him apart from other young fighters in the organization. While some young fighters have struggled to find their footing in the octagon, Rosas Jr has shown immense promise and potential. Only time will tell if he can reach the same level of success as other young UFC fighters, but his early achievements indicate a bright future ahead.

Dan Lauzon: Making His Mark at 18

Continuing the discussion from the previous subtopic, at the age of 18, Dan Lauzon made his mark in the UFC as one of the youngest fighters to step into the octagon. However, his early career in the UFC wasn't without its struggles. Lauzon debuted in the UFC with high hopes, but unfortunately, he lost his first fight via TKO in the first round. Despite this setback, Lauzon showed great potential and resilience.

After his debut loss, Lauzon went on to put together an impressive 8-fight win streak in smaller promotions, earning him a UFC contract in 2010. However, Lauzon faced another setback when he lost two consecutive fights and was ultimately released by the UFC.

While Lauzon's time in the UFC mightn't have gone according to plan, he played a significant role in paving the way for young fighters like Sage Northcutt, who'd later join the promotion. Northcutt, like Lauzon, made his UFC debut at a young age and experienced both success and struggles during his time with the organization. However, Northcutt's journey took a different turn when he made the transition to ONE Championship, a prominent mixed martial arts organization in Asia.

Sage Northcutt: A Teenage UFC Sensation

Sage Northcutt, a teenage sensation in the UFC, made a significant impact with his impressive performances. At just 19 years and 7 months old, he stepped into the Octagon and became the youngest UFC fighter to win a fight. His early success in the UFC showcased his incredible talent and potential.

However, being a teenage fighter came with its own set of challenges. Northcutt had to balance his training and fighting career with his studies and personal life. He faced criticism and skepticism from some who doubted his ability to compete at such a young age.

Despite these challenges, Northcutt remained focused and determined, constantly improving his skills and proving his doubters wrong. While his UFC career had its ups and downs, Northcutt's youth and undeniable talent made him a promising prospect in the sport.

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Vitor Belfort: A Phenom at 19

Vitor Belfort, at the age of 19, quickly established himself as a phenom in the UFC. His impact on the sport at such a young age was nothing short of remarkable. Belfort's explosive power and aggressive fighting style made him a force to be reckoned with in the Octagon. With 18 of his 26 wins coming by knockout, he showcased his ability to finish fights in devastating fashion.

However, being a young fighter in the UFC came with its own set of challenges. Belfort had to navigate the physical and mental demands of competing at the highest level of mixed martial arts. He faced more experienced opponents and had to prove himself against seasoned veterans.

Despite these challenges, Belfort rose to the occasion and became a UFC legend. His accomplishments at such a young age paved the way for other young fighters to make their mark in the sport. Vitor Belfort's impact on the UFC at a young age is a testament to his skill, determination, and unwavering drive to succeed in the Octagon.

Jake Matthews: The Celtic Kid's Early Start

At just 18 years old, Jake Matthews made his professional MMA debut, continuing the trend of young fighters making their mark in the UFC. Known as 'The Celtic Kid,' Matthews started his journey in the UFC at a remarkably young age.

After appearing on TUF Nations: Canada vs Australia, where he unfortunately lost his opening fight, Matthews wasted no time and made his UFC debut just two months later. Since then, he's become a staple in the UFC, amassing an impressive 11-5 record.

Now in 2022, Matthews is still competing in the UFC and looking better than ever, showcasing his growth and development over the past eight years. With his early start in the UFC, Matthews represents the future of young UFC stars, proving that age is just a number when it comes to success in the octagon.

Michael Mcdonald: Rising Through the Ranks at 19

Continuing the trend of young fighters making their mark in the UFC, Michael McDonald rose through the ranks at the age of 19. Despite his youth, McDonald faced numerous challenges on his path to success in the UFC. However, his early success in the organization had a significant impact on his career.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • McDonald made his professional MMA debut at just 16 years old, displaying his determination and passion for the sport at a young age.
  • Joining the WEC in 2010, McDonald became one of the youngest UFC fighters at the age of 19, showcasing his exceptional skills and potential.
  • McDonald's early success in the UFC allowed him to gain invaluable experience and exposure, propelling him further in his career.
  • He continued to fight in the UFC until 2016, demonstrating his ability to compete at the highest level of the sport.
  • McDonald's journey in the UFC paved the way for his transition to Bellator, where he continued to make a name for himself until his retirement in 2018.

McDonald's story is a testament to the challenges faced by young fighters and the profound impact that early success in the UFC can have on their careers.

Chase Hooper: The Prodigy at 20

Chase Hooper, known as 'The Prodigy,' made his mark in the UFC at the age of 20, following in the footsteps of other young fighters who've found success in the organization. Despite his young age, Hooper has already showcased his grappling skills and has the potential to become a force in the UFC. With his jiu-jitsu prowess and scrambling ability, Hooper has the tools to dominate his opponents on the ground.

While he's still early in his career, Hooper has already shown promise with his impressive wins. However, he's not the only young fighter making waves in the UFC. Iasmin Lucindo, despite facing adversity, has risen through the ranks at the age of 20. With a record of 13-5, Lucindo has proven that age is just a number in the world of MMA.

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Iasmin Lucindo: Overcoming Adversity at a Young Age

Despite facing adversity at a young age, Iasmin Lucindo has risen through the ranks in the UFC, showcasing her resilience and determination. Iasmin's journey has been marked by overcoming challenges and achieving success at a young age. Here are five key points that highlight her remarkable story:

  • She started training martial arts at a young age as a means of self-defense against domestic violence, demonstrating her courage and determination.
  • Iasmin turned professional at the age of 14 in Brazil, displaying her passion and dedication to the sport.
  • Making her UFC debut at just 20 years old, Iasmin faced a dubious decision loss, highlighting her ability to persevere in the face of disappointment.
  • Despite her young age, Iasmin already has an impressive MMA record of 13-5, underscoring her talent and potential for future success.
  • Through it all, Iasmin continues to overcome adversity, proving that age is just a number when it comes to achieving greatness in the UFC.

Iasmin Lucindo's story is a testament to the power of determination and resilience, inspiring others to overcome their own challenges and pursue their dreams at a young age.

Success of Young UFC Fighters

Iasmin Lucindo's success at a young age in the UFC highlights the potential for young fighters to make a mark in their divisions. Despite facing challenges faced by being a young fighter, Lucindo has already made her debut in the UFC at the age of 20.

Her journey from training martial arts at a young age to turning professional at just 14 years old showcases her determination and talent. Lucindo's impact on the sport is already evident, as she's built a record of 13-5 in her MMA career.

Her early success and dedication to the sport inspire other young fighters to pursue their dreams in the UFC. Lucindo's story, along with other successful young fighters in the UFC, demonstrates that age isn't a barrier to achieving greatness in the sport of mixed martial arts.

Opportunities for Young UFC Champions

Young UFC fighters have the potential to seize opportunities and become the youngest champions in the organization. The chances for young fighters to become champions are influenced by their success in the UFC. The impact of success in the UFC on achieving championship goals can be significant.

Here are five key factors to consider:

  1. Skill development: Young fighters have the opportunity to develop their skills at an early age, giving them a competitive advantage as they progress in their careers.
  2. Exposure and recognition: Success in the UFC brings increased exposure and recognition, which can lead to title opportunities and higher-profile fights.
  3. Mentoring and guidance: Young fighters who've experienced success in the UFC can benefit from the guidance and mentorship of seasoned champions, helping them navigate their path to the title.
  4. Motivation and determination: Achieving success in the UFC at a young age can fuel the motivation and determination needed to pursue championship goals.
  5. Longevity in the sport: Young fighters who establish themselves early have the potential for long and successful careers, increasing their chances of becoming champions.

The opportunities for young UFC fighters to become champions are vast, and their success in the organization can have a significant impact on achieving their championship goals.

Potential of Young Fighters in Their Divisions

Young fighters in their divisions often possess immense potential. Their youth brings a unique energy and freshness to the octagon, which can have a significant impact on their fighting styles. These young athletes are often more agile, quick, and adaptable, allowing them to showcase innovative techniques and strategies.

Their lack of experience is compensated by their hunger to prove themselves, making them formidable opponents. The potential of young fighters in their divisions is undeniable, as they've the opportunity to make a mark and rise through the ranks at a rapid pace. With their natural athleticism and dedication to training, these fighters have the potential to become future champions and dominate their divisions.

As they continue to gain experience and refine their skills, the sky is the limit for these young warriors.

The Future of Young UFC Stars

The future looks promising for these young UFC stars as they continue to showcase their skills and potential in the octagon. These rising fighters have already made a significant impact on the sport, despite their young age. However, they also face unique challenges in their careers.

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Here are five key aspects to consider:

  • Early success: Many of these young fighters have already achieved notable success in the UFC, demonstrating their immense talent and potential.
  • Longevity: While some fighters have left the UFC to gain more experience, others have remained in the organization and are establishing themselves as long-term contenders.
  • Championship aspirations: Several of these young fighters have expressed their desire to become the youngest UFC champions, showcasing their ambition and determination.
  • Divisional impact: These rising stars have the potential to make a lasting impact on their respective divisions, bringing fresh energy and new challenges to their opponents.
  • Uncertain future: Only time will tell if these young fighters can navigate the challenges and obstacles that come with a career in the UFC, and whether they can fulfill their potential and achieve greatness.

The future of these young UFC stars is filled with promise, but they must overcome the hurdles that come with their youth and inexperience. As they continue to grow and develop, their impact on the sport will undoubtedly be significant.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Significance of Raul Rosas Jr Earning a Special License From the Nevada State Athletic Commission?

The significance of Raul Rosas Jr earning a special license from the Nevada State Athletic Commission is that it allowed him to become a professional fighter before turning 18, making him the youngest UFC fighter to join the roster.

How Did Dan Lauzon's UFC Career Unfold After His Debut Loss?

After his debut loss, Dan Lauzon's UFC career had its ups and downs. He earned a UFC contract at 18, but lost two consecutive fights in 2010 and was eventually released.

What Led to Sage Northcutt's Release From the Ufc?

Sage Northcutt's release from the UFC was due to his need for improvements. Despite going 6-2 in the UFC, his performance didn't meet expectations. However, he still has future prospects and valuable lessons learned for his career.

How Does Vitor Belfort's Record as the Youngest UFC Fighter Compare to Others on the List?

Vitor Belfort holds the record for the youngest UFC fighter to win a fight, achieving it at 19 years and 10 months old. Comparatively, Raul Rosas Jr's special license from the Nevada State Athletic Commission had a significant impact on his career.

How Has Jake Matthews' Career Progressed Since His UFC Debut at 18 Years Old?

Jake Matthews' career has progressed significantly since his UFC debut at 18 years old. He has become a staple in the UFC and currently holds a respectable ranking. He has notable wins over top-level opponents, showcasing his skills and potential for future success.


In a world where age is just a number, these young UFC fighters have proven themselves to be the future champions of the octagon. With their incredible skills and unwavering determination, they've already achieved remarkable success at such a tender age.

But their journey is far from over. As they continue to train, improve, and face new challenges, the suspense builds. Will they rise to the occasion and become the youngest UFC champions in history? Only time will tell, but the potential for greatness is undeniable.

Mike Williams
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