Jay Perrin knows he’s playing the role of the underdog this Saturday at UFC 282 when he faces 18-year-old Raul Rosas Jr. The bantamweight preliminary card feature between the two alumni of Dana White’s Contender Series opened the week with Rosas (6-0-0) as a -200 favorite in his Octagon debut. Perrin (10-6-0) is ready to defy the odds.
“Most of my career is ‘I’m not expected to win’,” Perrin told All Access MMA in a November camp interview with James Lynch.
“I’ve even fought a friend before, you know. Even as the champion of that promotion, the promotion pushed him as this all-unstoppable force of nature, and I five-round five and – You know what I mean? It was a dominant win. You know what I mean? So, I’ve been counted out before. I’ve been the guy that’s not… I’m a dark horse. That’s the best way I could put it, I suppose, is that people that know know that I’m not an easy fight for literally anybody. People that don’t aren’t as educated.”
Jay Perrin Isn’t Feeling Pressure Fighting Raul Rosas Jr. at UFC 282
The job of a sports league is to sell its product through flashy headlines. For the UFC, one such promotion is Rosas Jr. who will become the youngest fighter in the organization’s history when he touches gloves with Perrin on Saturday. Despite entering the fight with an 0-2 record in the UFC himself, Perrin says the headlines actually work in his favor.
“It just takes all the pressure off of me. Everything’s on him. He’s 18 years old, he’s gonna fight in his first arena, ever – I’ve at least been there. Everybody in the world thinks he’s a world killer, he’s this thing when, you know, he’s just a kid. It’s all on me. Nobody expects me to win, everybody expects me to lose. So, you know what I mean? I have no stake in either winning or losing.
If I do win, I still won’t get the credit I deserve for it. I don’t feel a ton of pressure here. It’s either I go in there and do what I know I’m going to do, or I lose and nobody really had any expectation of me to begin with. It’s very freeing, so the camp is kinda running that way. I’m gonna let it all out there either way.”
Jay Perrin Looks to End 2022 On a High Note
At 29 years old, the start to Perrin’s UFC career hasn’t gone the way he wanted to start since making his debut in February, losing both of his contests by unanimous decision. “I’ve never taken an easy fight in my life,” he told AAMMA. “Not one. My record doesn’t indicate how good I am, and my record is filled with split decisions that I should have won. So, being in this position, it’s just like another day at the office. You could be the world champion and people are still going to call you a bum. So, it doesn’t bother me at all.”
In his most recent fight on the early preliminary card at UFC 278 this summer, Perrin showed great endurance with a stellar third round against Aoriqileng. For the bout, “Savage” had more strikes (106) and significant strikes (88) than his opponent, and hit three of his seven takedown attempts. Most of that action came during his rally push in the final frame, however, after a close first round and really losing the second. It was a great bounce-back performance from his February debut against Mario Bautista where he was handedly outworked.
The tough climb that it has been for Perrin to reach this point in his career, he still knows that he belongs on this level after being tested time and time again. Beyond the age factor, Perrin can’t say the same for Rosas.
“You can say what you what about my record. I’ve fought tough people. I didn’t go to Mexico and fight eight bums and then have my opponent on the Contender Series put up a lackluster performance and then win. That didn’t happen to me. You can say what you want, but my record is filled with actual fighters, not people that you went and found off the street in Mexico and then promoted yourself as a world killer in America.”
Jay Perrin Calls His Shot Against Raul Rosas Jr. at UFC 282
On fight day, all of the headlines leading into the event will be put to the test inside the cage. The youth of Rosas can prove either as an advantage in speed and power or to highlight his lack of experience. Asked about his opponent’s performance and technique, Perrin believes everyone is so caught up in the story of Rosas’ age that they’re ignoring that there’s a fight about to happen.
“Everybody is so enamored with how old he is that they are forgetting about the quality of the fight. Not to say that it’s not impressive for an 18-year-old to be on the Contender Series, ‘Whoo!’, we get it. He’s 18, I get it, but if I’m really looking at the performance, that s*** was subpar. Man, that s*** wasn’t good… For an 18-year-old? Yes, it was impressive. But as a UFC roster member? It was not, in my opinion. I’m not looking at this kid as an 18-year-old. I am looking at him as an armed combatant that’s going to attack me and, for me, I’m not blown away by any of that.”
So, how does Perrin see the fight going? After an “interesting” first round, “Savage” is calling himself getting the second-round TKO. “I hope I’m the searing loss that he never forgets.”