UFC youngster Raul Rosas Jr. has peculiar looks as a result of a medical condition called Pallister W Syndrome

18-year-old MMA contender Raul Rosas Jr. has etched his name in history by becoming the youngest competitor to grace the UFC arena. But beyond the victories inside the cage, Rosas Jr.’s path to becoming one of the UFC’s most promising prospects has been marked by challenges stemming from a rare genetic disorder.


A number of competitors, including Robert Whittaker and Brock Lesnar have overcome crippling ailments to compete in their UFC careers. But until Raul Rosas Jr. entered the ring, no athlete with a known medical condition had ever joined the UFC.

Rosas Jr. suffers from Pallister W Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. It was identified as an adult phenotype by Pallister in 1977. This disorder manifests in distinct facial changes, including clefting of the palate and upper lip, a broad flat nose, eyes set far apart, and a down-slanting eyelid fold.

The impact extends beyond the facial features, affecting teeth, limb structure, speech, and even causing seizures. Notably, it is a hereditary condition.


The UFC has witnessed combatants overcome various adversities, but Raul Rosas Jr. stands as the first with a pre-existing medical condition to step into the octagon. His journey began with Dana White’s Contender Series, culminating in a triumphant debut at UFC 282. Despite a setback at UFC 287, the resilient 18-year-old bounced back with a knockout win at Noche UFC.

Raul Rosas Jr.’s ascent to the UFC was far from easy. Battling Pallister W Syndrome, he needed a special permit to compete in Dana White’s promotion. Starting his MMA journey at 15, Rosas Jr. faced uncertainty regarding approval to compete.

Convincing the promoter in an Indian area, he made his pro debut against opponents over 30. The road involved navigating bureaucratic hoops and securing special permissions from parents and sponsors.

In an exclusive interview, Raul Rosas Jr. shed light on the intricate approval process. He said: “The commission already approved it. I already did the paperwork. All I had to do was notary. My friend signed it. That’s the only thing that I had to do. Jason House did all the rest. I think he sent film to the commission and said why I’m ready to compete at this level and the commission approved.”

Without the granted special permit, the world might never have witnessed Rosas Jr. in UFC action.