UFC Announces Plans for The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2014

Cain Velasquez walks to the octagon for the UFC 160 mixed martial arts heavyweight title bout against Antonio Silva, Saturday, May 25, 2013, in Las Vegas. Velasquez won by technical knockout. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

The Ultimate Fighter will finally be available for Latin American audiences as the UFC announced The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America on Thursday afternoon.

The show will shoot in Las Vegas during the spring of 2014, and it will air on the UFC's Fight Pass streaming network in the United States.

TUF: Latin America will feature the standard 16-fighter cast. The UFC is currently accepting applications at www.ufcnetwork.com for the upcoming season with a narrow focus on who they want cast:

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.

Interestingly, there is no set weight class for this upcoming season as of yet. The UFC is accepting applications for every weight class.

The UFC has continually toyed with the idea of running a show in Mexico, but to date it has not come to fruition. The Latin American base continues to grow as a hotbed for combat sports. The Ultimate Fighter is a prime chance for the UFC to continue to grow MMA in that area of the world.

Per the press release:

"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.

The show has produced a number of winners of Latin American descent. Diego Sanchez, a Mexican-American, won the middleweight tournament on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. Other Mexican-American winners are Tony Ferguson (season 13) and Kelvin Gastelum (season 17). Efrain Escudero, born in Mexico, won the eighth season of the show.

The global expansion of the sport and the UFC brand continues. The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America is just another step in the right direction.

Coaches for the seventh international season are to be announced at a later date.

All quotes were obtained via the official UFC press release.