Mitch Raposo was set to make his highly anticipated professional mixed martial arts debut at Cage Titans 42 on January 26. But it was at eight a.m. that day that Raposo received a call from his manager, Tyson Chartier, to tell him that his fight was called off. That conversation wasn’t fun but Raposo knew at some point in his career he’d have to deal with adversity such as he did that day. After all, he has dedicated his life to MMA, passing on college to pursue his dream. Now the 20-year-old bantamweight prospect is moving past it and focusing on the fight ahead of him.
“April 6 it was all meant to be to really bring out the better me for my pro debut.”
View this post on Instagram
Let’s try this again…April 6 I make my professional debut. I’ve never felt so ready to fight in my career, safe to say I’m counting down the days. I’ll have tickets in hand this weekend, ready to smash this dude and represent the 508 big time next month. Lets get this shit going …. . . . . . . . . . 👆 #bjj #brazilianjiujitsu #regimenttrainingcenter #timburrill #timburillbjj #tbbjj #teampanda #grappling #nogi #machadobjj #akbjj #armorkimonos #teamak #shotokan #wrestling #kickboxing #boxing #mma
Raposo dominated as an amateur, going undefeated through six fights. He simply ran through his opponents and won two titles in the process. The one knock people use against the talented fighter is that he wasn’t able to finish his opponents even though each of the fights were extremely one-sided. Now as a professional, Raposo believes the finishes will happen and the doubters won’t be able to question him.
“People don’t get it, I think my amateur career went exactly the way it was supposed to be. A lot of guys learn from losses as an amateur, but those guys weren’t beating me. I’m way too skilled for those guys, I’m way too ahead of in fight IQ, my conditioning and the way I treat my career. I wasn’t going to lose to those guys, no way but what I did learn was something very valuable, I got cage time and I got experience. Towards the end of last year, I was sick of it, I wanted to go pro, I know I’m built for the pro level, I’m talented. That’s why I’m itching to get into the cage, this decision bullshit will never be in my name again, I’ll tell you that right now, after April 6. I want to be known as a finisher.”
For his professional debut, Raposo will leave the flyweight ranks and join the bantamweight division. Though he was always able to make the weight, flyweight was always a short-term plan and with his still growing body, Raposo knew he would one day be a bantamweight. However, the uncertainty with the UFC’s flyweight division speed the process up. Now, Raposo has gone through a new weight program to retool his body to deal with bigger opponents and enforce his will.
“I wasn’t weighing much, I was weighing 136 pounds and had seven percent body fat. I never lifted before, I didn’t take any supplements. I was only going to do that for so long, I mean you gotta lift, you’re a professional athlete, you gotta have a strength program. With the transition happening, it was a no brainier to start it.”
“Tyson (Chartier, Raposo’s manager) said it best, keeping me at 125 for a couple years was probably the goal but for the remainder of my career wasn’t going to happen, it was tough. I’ve seen these guys in person, Rob (Font, UFC bantamweight) is probably the biggest bantamweight I know, I’ve been going with him since I was 18-years-old weighing a 136 pounds so I think if anyone is going to be prepared and anyone is going to look better at a 135, especially with the training partners I have, it’s going to be me. I’m prepared for this, everything happens for a reason. My coaches will tell you, anybody will tell you, I’m better now than I was. The power I have, the mentality is going to be completely different April 6. I’m going to be everything people talk about April 7 and I’m going to live up to the hype.”
To do that, Raposo will have to get past Robert Fuller who is 0-3 in his career, including a loss to Raposo’s teammate and now UFC fighter Randy Costa. However, Fuller had two fights booked on two weekends leading up to the fight (first mentioned by Steve Domenico of ambassadortofighters.com, the fights ended up not happening according to Tapology). But that doesn’t who says he has backups in place and is guaranteed to fight on April 6. He also doesn’t care about who shows up to fight him, because he’s not training for one particular fighter.
“I cleared it up with (Michael) Polvere, they fight every weekend, that’s what they do. They like getting beat up, it’s weird, it’s a weird thing. I don’t really give a shit, we have backups in place so this doesn’t happen again. I think he will show up cause the dude doesn’t have much of a brain, so I think he’ll show up, he’ll take his beating. He’ll show up, if he doesn’t, I’ve got back ups in place. I don’t focus on that, know I’m fighting April 6, I know whoever steps in there is gonna get taken out, it don’t really matter, I sleep just fine.”
Many fighters aren’t able to handle last minute opponent switches and need to focus on just one opponent at a time. The maturity Raposo shows is much older than his age actually is. As he has explained in many interviews, Raposo has wanted this to be his career since he was in middle school. Since graduating high school, Raposo has dedicated his life to mixed martial arts and the results have shown he has the talent for it. While many burnout, he believes he will be one of the few to see their dreams come to fruition.
“I train a UFC fighter’s life, I’m going to get what I deserve, it’s really as simple as well.”
“A lot of young kids especially like me they burnout, they get to their early twenties, I know people who did, they burnout, it’s too much for them. But I’ve always done a really good job with having fun in the sport and really training hard but knowing when my body is getting red-lined. This sport, to me I said it’s something I’ve been born to do, I don’t get sick of it.”