With lack of UFC opportunities for Puerto Rican fighters, Jason Ramos eyes TUF reboot

Jason Ramos grew up getting into many fights in school as a kid. By the age of 14, he was introduced to Boxing and now the rest is being written.

Most boys who grow up on the Island, usually get introduced to boxing at a young age. Boxing has produced some of the biggest Puerto Rican sports icons like Felix Tito Trinidad, so hearing Ramos was a fan at a young age and influenced by the boxer is no surprise.

Originally boxing as a heavyweight, fights eventually became hard to find for Ramos. Imagine being big for your age and growing up having to fight older men? That was the reality for Jason who ended his amateur boxing career with a 5-1 record.

“I was a kid fighting grown men.”

After leaving Puerto Rico and returning overweight, he decided to explore MMA when a friend told him of a gym in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. After a few months of training and eventually hearing about Ichy’s Fighting Academy, Ramos decided to make the gym change. Today, he trains with Coach Ichy, who has truly been at the forefornt of his MMA career since the beginning. Now nine years together, the duo hopes to fulfill a longtime dream — making it to the UFC.

“It has been an exciting journey and it has gone very well for me in my pro MMA career having 12 wins and only 2 losses,” said Ramos. “I just love the fight game, you have so many tools to win or lose. That’s what makes it exciting to do this sport.”

While Puerto Rico has had many Boxing success stories, in MMA it’s quite different. Today, you see very few fighters representing the Puerto Rican flag. And when they are, they are usually born in the States.

“I wouldn’t say that they’re not many people that don’t know about MMA here because the UFC has made sure that people in Puerto Rico know about MMA and what the UFC is about,” said Ramos. “We got a small group of talented fighters that can compete in the UFC, I just think there is a lack of opportunity to get a fight in the UFC, that’s why I think we don’t have a Puerto Rican born fighter in the UFC.”

With the lack of opportunity, Ramos is ready and wiling to take any shot at getting to the big leagues. Even if that means competing on a show like The Ultimate Fighter, which is expected to return, per Dana White.

“I have always wanted to fight for different companies so fans can get to know me around the world, that is one of my main goals.”

With the pandemic putting regional MMA on hold, the time is ticking for Ramos who is no stranger to forced time away from the sport. Just before making a successful return at MaxxFC 37, the welterweight prospect was out with an injury. “It felt great to get that win after a 1-year layoff,” said Ramos. “I gained experience from that fight though, I wasn’t going in there reckless looking for a knockout.”

Because in Puerto Rico there is a lot of talent yet to be discovered, Ramos hopes to one day represent his Island in the UFC. With a 100% finish rate and and a 12-2 record, one thing is for sure — Jason Ramos is ready for the step up in competition.

Whether it’s his next fight or the one after that, Jason Ramos wants to prove he belongs against the upper echelon of both of his weight classes. He may be on a race against time in a sport where careers are short lived. However, he’s hungrier than ever to be the next one to proudly fly the Puerto Rican flag over his head when making the walk to the cage.

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