“Ultimate Fighter” Winner Efrain Escudero in Talks with Tachi Palace Fights, Unsure of Shine’s Future

February 3, 2011

Efrain Escudero UFC 114

Efrain Escudero is determined to get back to the UFC by any means necessary, and he’s willing to fight every month if that’s what it takes to earn his return to the Octagon.

Since his release from the promotion, the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner has re-dedicated himself to staying busy and looking for fights. He’s gone 2-0 since exiting the UFC, with two finishes along the way.

With a renewed sense of vigor, Escudero is already in talks for his next fight, potentially later this month in California.

“Right now we’re talking to, it’s not 100% sure, but we are talking and we might be fighting in Tachi Palace on the 18th of this month,” Escudero revealed on MMAWeekly Radio. “We’re trying to see if we’re going to be on that card. Not 100% sure yet, but it is in the works.”

Tachi Palace Fights currently has a card going down Feb 18 with several UFC veterans on the card, and the promotion is known for quality shows in the California area.

One promotion that already has Escudero under contract, but is currently in a state of flux is Shine Fights. The organization signed the former TUF 8 winner to a deal late last year, but since that time COO Jason Chambers has resigned, as well as matchmaker Santino DeFranco.

The rough patch Shine Fights started to go through in 2010 doesn’t appear to be getting any clearer, and the unanswered questions about their future reaches down to their fighters as well.

“There were supposed to have a show Jan 8, and then they moved it up to Feb 12, and then they moved it up to April, so for me I can’t be on hold that long,” said Escudero. “I’m the kind of guy that has the new mentality that I always like to stay busy, I always have to stay on the grind to stay on top of my game. I mean Shine was a great promotion, I have no idea what’s going on with them. I hope it gets resolved soon. I only have a year contract with them so at least I want to fight once for them.”

Wherever Escudero fights next, he has one end road and all paths lead to the UFC.

He’s moving past his time as an “Ultimate Fighter” winner and wants to earn his way back on work ethic and resume. Escudero has been working alongside former WEC champion Ben Henderson as well as putting in time at the new Power MMA & Fitness gym helmed by UFC veterans like Ryan Bader, Aaron Simpson and C.B. Dollaway.

The hard work is what he hopes pays off, and Escudero wants to make sure Joe Silva, Dana White and the brass at the UFC and willing to see the changes he’s made.

“Just trying to stay busy. It’s this new Efrain that’s born in 2011, he’s hungry, I’m going back to what I used to do. Back in school, back motivated to do everything and got to start back from scratch,” Escudero stated.

“Bottom line is I want to get back into the UFC and teach everybody that I’m there to stay. I had my run, made some mistakes, got caught up in the moment, and now no looking back. It’s all ahead in the future and the past is the past.”