It's already that time again. Time for another season of the Ultimate Fighter. As fans already knew, this season will be coached by UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and his rival, no. 1 contender Fabricio Werdum, fresh off his 5 round pasting of Travis Browne last month. What may not have been known until the cast announcement, but was bandied about a bit, was that the upcoming season of TUF Latino Amercia would feature one team, entirely comprised of Mexican fighters, against a team of other fighters from other Latin nations (excluding Brazil). It appears that that rumor is confirmed with the announcement of the TUF cast by Indiscudito.com (the original article has been removed).
|Enrique Briones||33||13–4–1||Guido Cannetti||34||5–1|
|Masiosare Fullen||27||9–4||Fredy Serrano||33||1–0|
|Alejandro Perez||-||13–4||Bentley Syler||31||5–0|
|Jose Alberto Quinones||30||0–1||Marlon Vera||21||5–1–1|
|Marco Beltran||27||5–2||Humberto Brown Morrison||29||4–4|
|Gabriel Benitez||25||16–4||Leonardo Morales||22||4–1|
|Yair Rodriguez||21||2–1||Diego Rivas||-||5–0|
|Rodolfo Rubio Perez||27||12–6||Alex Torres||24||5–1|
As with other international versions of the Ultimate Fighter, it doesn't appear that there will be an entry round of 32 for fans to watch. Instead, the teams have already be laid out. Given that, it shouldn't be too hard to get a feel for early "favorites." Several Mexican fighters have spent the last several months at Jackson's MMA in Albuquerque on a UFC grant. Briones, Quinones, Rodriguez, A. Perez, and Benitez all will enter the Ultimate Fighter with the boost of a top level training camp. It should otherwise be noted that Masio Fullen has a fair bit of professional boxing experience.
On the non-Mexican side of the bracket, there are a couple talents that Fabricio Werdum will be trying to push to a UFC contract. Most notable among them is Fredy Serrano. The former Olympic wrestler was highlighted by MMA Fighting not long ago as "the best male wrestler ever to emerge from Colombia." Also of some note, is Bentley Syler, who perhaps has the largest home camp behind him as a product of American Top Team. Otherwise, much of the talent in this season of TUF will be unknown and untested. Much like TUF China, this looks to be an exploratory venture. The important part for the UFC will be getting broadcast time and drawing an audience. The expectation of getting a talented fighter may be somewhat secondary.
As a final side note, the Indiscutido article mentioned that 29 year old Augusto Montano is being scouted by the UFC for their Mexico City show, provided that he win his upcoming welterweight debut. Montano is 13-1 with a loss to Sam Alvey, having spent most of his career at 185 lbs.
TUF Latino America is set to air on the UFC Network in Latin America, however no broadcast plan has been announced for the US or Brazil. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more TUF news and updates.
*It should be noted, that finding records on these fighters was often cumbersome and I would not put a lot of stock in the records shown here. Guys with a lot of experience can generally be assumed to be more experienced, guys without a lot can generally be assumed not to be. But, much like TUF China, more accurate records will most likely emerge with the broadcast.