In mixed martial arts, the UFC represents the top of the pyramid. Therefore, young fighters would often have to make their bones at smaller organizations and collect some vital experience before earning an opportunity inside the elusive Octagon.
But as they say, rules are made to be broken. Hence, some fighters showcase enough talent and potential while winning bouts at a tender age, which could grant them a shortcut to Dana White’s company.
So who are the youngest fighters in UFC history? And who is the organization’s youngest champion of all time?
Time to reveal the answers.
Who is the Youngest Fighter in UFC History?
Raul Rosas Jr. is the youngest fighter ever to make his UFC debut. The Mexican stepped into the Octagon for the first time at the age of 18 years, two months and two days.
After impressing in Dana White’s Contender Series, “El Niño Problema” made his promotional debut at UFC 282, earning a first-round submission victory over Jay Perrin. He remains one of the company’s most promising fighters in the bantamweight division.
Youngest UFC Fighters Ever
While Raul Rosas Jr. is the youngest fighter ever in the UFC, let’s find out who are the other combatants who make up the Top 5 list based on their debut date.
|1||Raul Rosas Jr.||18 years, 2 months||Jay Perrin||Submission win||Bantamweight|
|2||Dan Lauzon||18 years, 6 months||Spencer Fisher||TKO loss||Lightweight|
|3||Sage Northcutt||19 years, 7 months||Francisco Treviño||TKO win||Catchweight (160 lbs)|
|4||Vitor Belfort||19 years, 10 months||Tra Telligman||TKO win||Heavyweight|
|5||Song Yadong||19 years, 11 months||Felipe Arantes||KO win||Bantamweight|
Youngest UFC Champions Ever
Jon Jones is the youngest champion in UFC history, winning his first belt at the age of 23 with a vicious TKO against the legendary Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128. He went on to cement himself as arguably the greatest fighter of all time.
Brazilian legend José Aldo lands second on the list. He became the inaugural UFC featherweight champion at the of age 24 years and two months when the organization absorbed WEC.
Josh Barnett completes the podium thanks to a short reign in 2002. With a TKO win over Randy Couture, the American became a UFC champion at the age of 24 years and five months.
Youngest UFC Champion by Weight Class
In this section, we’ll reveal the youngest UFC champion in each division based on the date of his initial title win.
|Josh Barnett||24 years, 5 months||March 22, 2002||Heavyweight|
|Jon Jones||23 years, 8 months||March 19, 2011||Light Heavyweight|
|Robert Whittaker||26 years, 11 months||December 7, 2017||Middleweight|
|Carlos Newton||24 years, 9 months||May 4, 2001||Welterweight|
|Jens Pulver||26 years, 2 months||February 23, 2001||Lightweight|
|José Aldo||24 years, 2 months||November 20, 2010||Men’s Featherweight|
|Amanda Nunes||30 years, 6 months||December 29, 2018||Women’s Featherweight|
|Cody Garbrandt||25 years, 5 months||December 30, 2016||Men’s Bantamweight|
|Ronda Rousey||25 years, 9 months||December 6, 2012||Women’s Bantamweight|
|Demetrious Johnson||27 years, 1 month||September 12, 2012||Men’s Flyweight|
|Alexa Grasso||29 years, 6 months||March 4, 2023||Women’s Flyweight|
|Rose Namajunas||25 years, 4 months||November 4, 2017||Strawweight|