Kelvin Gastelum and Efrain Escudero have been handed their next assignments from the UFC, as the promotion has announced the two will be coaches on the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America.”
The second season will begin filming in Las Vegas on March 17th, and will feature lightweight and welterweight fighters. The cast / competitors will be announced in the coming weeks.
“My experience traveling throughout Latin America as well as my fight in Mexico City has opened my eyes to the amazing talent within the region,” Gastelum said in the announcement. “With this next generation of up and coming Latin American fighters, I have taken a huge responsibility upon myself to help the sport grow in these countries. I’m very excited to take this once in a lifetime opportunity and help make these aspiring fighters’ dreams come true like mine were made for me.”
“Being a coach on The Ultimate Fighter is something I have always dreamed of,” Escudero noted. “The experience of going through the process of just trying to be on the show and then actually being selected and then winning the show, is truly amazing and something I’ll never forget. Now that I am a coach, it thrills me to be in a position where I can give 100% of me to these guys who are trying to reach their dream of being ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. I look forward in helping each one of them fulfill their dream. I assure you, this will be a great season of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America.”
TUF: Latin America 2 will begin airing this August on Televisa Channel 5 in Mexico and on Fight Pass, here in North America. The finale will take place in Mexico, however, the exact date and venue has yet to be determined. Both teams will represent a “combination of Latin America countries”.
If you’re wondering whether Gastelum and Escudero will square off at the end of the season, the announcement did not mention that…which makes sense, since Gastelum competes at 170 and Escudero is a lightweight.
Gastelum (10-1) is coming off the first pro, defeat of his career, as he lost by split decision to Tyron Woodley in January. Due to the fact he came in way over weight for the bout, however, it remains to be seen if the 23 year-old competes at 170 again. Prior to that bout, the TUF 17 winner tapped out Jake Ellenberger in the opening round at UFC 180 last November, which went down in Mexico City.
Escudero (23-9), who won TUF 8, scored a decision win over Rodrigo Goiana de Lima at UFC FN 60 last month. The lightweight is 3-2 in his last 5 bouts and is currently in his third run with the UFC.