Following a highly successful inaugural season, The Ultimate Fighter Latin America is returning for its sophomore fun.
The series, which will feature two eight-man teams each comprised of four lightweight and four welterweights, has much to live up to. The first edition of TUF Latin America drew an average of 7 million viewers per episode in Mexico alone, and millions more throughout the other Latin American countries, according to the UFC.
The son of Mexican immigrants, Gastelum was the surprise winner of the seventeenth American installment of The Ultimate Fighter. Uriah Hall was the heavy favorite to win the middleweight tournament, but Gastelum won a split decision in the finale.
Although Gastelum dropped to welterweight after the show’s conclusion, he has struggled on the scale, missing weight in two of his last three 170-pound bouts. So it’s likely that he’ll be competing at 185 pounds in his next UFC bout.
“My experience traveling through Latin America and my fight in Mexico City opened my eyes to the incredible talent of this region,” said Gastelum. “I’m very excited to have this incredible opportunity to help these fighters realize their dreams.”
Gastelum’s counterpart, Escudero, won the eighth season of TUF as a lightweight. Born in Mexico, but now fighting out of Arizona, Escudero is currently in the midst of his third UFC tour of duty. He is 1-1 since returning at UFC Fight Night 51 last September.
“Being one of the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter is something I’ve always dreamed of,” said Escudero.
Like the first season of TUF Latin America, season two is scheduled to be released through channel 5 of Televisa in Mexico, by the UFC Network, and various other broadcast platforms throughout Latin America.