The call was officially made today to all aspiring Latin American fighters: the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization is looking for its next Latino standout and will use its storied reality television series to recruit the regions top talent.
The seventh international edition of the UFC’s reality series, The Ultimate Fighter, is set to feature a cast of 16 undiscovered professional Mixed Martial Arts fighters from across Latin America. The show features them living together in the The Ultimate Fighter house, and follows them as they train and compete against each other for a prized contract with the UFC.
All fighters are now invited to register at: www.ufcnetwork.com.
“Latin America has become a huge market for the UFC and we’re excited to take it to the next level with The Ultimate Fighter,” said UFC Senior Vice President of International Development and General Manager of Latin America Jaime Pollack. “With the successful launch of the UFC NETWORK, and the tremendous growth of our fan base, our focus has now moved to finding and developing the top talent in this market. We want to find the next star, the next fighter who will do what Anderson Silva did for Brazil. We want to give the fans a homegrown hero.”
Eligible candidates must be between 21 and 34 years old, speak Spanish, have a minimum of three professional MMA fights, and hold a verifiable winning record. They must also be citizens of one of the following countries: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The Ultimate Fighter has launched the careers of more than 100 UFC fighters and produced champions such as Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans and Matt Serra and season winners including Michael Bisping, Ryan Bader and Nate Diaz. Mexico-born Efrain Escudero captured the season 8 lightweight title, while Mexican American Diego Sanchez was the first-ever winner of the franchise, defeating Kenny Florian, a fighter of Peruvian descent, at The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale in 2005. Other Mexican Americans to follow in his stead include, Tony Ferguson, season 13 winner and Kelvin Gastelum, winner of season 17.
The series will be shot in Las Vegas in spring 2014. Coaches and broadcast details will be announced at a later date.