Mitch Raposo never lost sight of a childhood dream.
Today, the Massachusetts native is still pursuing the career of being a professional athlete. Baseball and hockey are the sports he used to compete in against his two older brothers, but then he found mixed martial arts at 12 years old.
The 22-year-old is currently living out his fantasy in reality, unbeaten at 5-0.
“People say that, but then there was a sport with weight classes and fighting. I could be the best at fighting and be considered a professional athlete,” Raposo said.
“It was everything to me right off the start. I king of just made it my life. I sacrifice everything for this.”
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Mitch Raposo never lost sight
Raposo is used to being told he has what it takes to reach the highest level in MMA. Training partners, friends and family have told him this since he first started training.
A lot has occurred since he first hit the mat for a jiu-jitsu class. Raposo changed gyms, linked up with Tyson Chartier and is now a part of the New England Cartel with UFC notables Rob Font and Calvin Kattar.
He most recently earned a unanimous decision victory against Matt Almy at CES 61 this past October. Between his time as an amateur and professional fighter, he accumulated a perfect 11-0 record.
He is considered one of the top bantamweights in New England, joining other prospects like Johnny Campbell, Jay Perrin, Da’Mon Blackshear and Richia Santiago. People are not only telling him he belongs at the next level, but Raposo is making a case all on his own.
“For some reason it just stuck in my head and through all the years of middle school and high school, that never got away from me,” Raposo said. “It’s tough too because I saw with my own eyes a lot of people that I knew, who were very talented, who lost sight of it.”
New weight class, new opportunity
There is no better time to be a flyweight according to Raposo. With contenders in the UFC like Brandon Royval, Manel Kape and Askar Askarov, the division is booming. Not to mention, the recent back-and-forth draw between Brandon Moreno and current UFC champion Deiveson Figueiredo.
Raposo is even fond of the flyweight talent on the regional scene. Raposo was set to make his 125-debut against Almy, but then Almy asked for a 130-pound catchweight about three weeks before their bout.
Flyweight is familiar territory as he fought all six of his amateur bouts at 125 pounds. He even captured the flyweight straps for AMMO Fight League and Cage Titans.
He is open to flipping between flyweight and bantamweight, but 125 pounds is where he’d like to be right now.
“The division is moving in the UFC, it’s the best it’s ever been. These guys are kind of inspiring me to get after it, to get better fast,” Raposo said. “I’ve knocked guys out at bantamweight, so I know I have the power. To knock someone out who outweighs me by 25 pounds, it just makes all the sense in the world.”
Nothing but time
Raposo plans to continue down the road of being a professional athlete come February or March of 2021. He is unsure where his next fight will come, but those are the months he has in mind.
Raposo is also waiting on the auditioning process for “The Ultimate Fighter” season 29, which will feature bantamweights and middleweights. The show is currently postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Raposo is waiting patiently.
He is taking a one fight at a time approach at 22 years old. Don’t be mistaken though. If the UFC calls, Raposo is answering the phone.
People are telling him he is ready. Raposo is trying to prove it.
“I always have in the back of my head, ‘If I can just keep doing this, I’m going to be world champion,” Raposo said. “If I get to the UFC at 7-0, 8-0, my next fight, I am only going to be better. I got nothing but time.”