TUF Latin America 2 will end with a member from both Team Gastelum and Team Escudero walking away with a six-figure UFC contract.
The UFC returns to Mexico on Saturday night with a finale fight card to wrap up its second Latin American season. Both Kelvin Gastelum and Efrain Escudero, who served as opposing coaches this season, are scheduled to compete in the finale.
Gastelum is slated to fight Neil Magny in the headliner after his original opponent, Matt Brown, was forced off the card with an injury. There were some serious doubts that Gastelum would ever compete at welterweight again. The San Jose native has had far too many issues in the past trying to hit the 170 pound mark, and it eventually led to UFC President Dana White forcing him to move to middleweight.
However, White recently told MMAjunkie that he had a change of heart after a private conversation with Gastelum:
“I love this fight and I like Kelvin Gastelum; I hope he’s already cutting weight for that fight. He wants to fight there, he assured us he would make the weight and he has a nutritionist with him now, so I trust that he’s going to do it.”
White’s fears were put to bed on Friday evening at the official weigh-ins when Gastelum stepped onto the scale at 171 pounds.
A fight against Brown would have been a great opportunity for Gastelum to make some noise in the welterweight division and possibly even position himself for a title shot. But things won’t come any easier against Magny, a proven UFC veteran who always shows up in shape.
As for Escudero, he is scheduled to open Saturday night’s main card in a lightweight tilt with Leandro Silva.
Things appear to finally be falling into place for Escudero, who is coming off consecutive wins over Drew Dober and Rodrigo de Lima. He hasn’t had back-to-back wins in the UFC since 2009. Meanwhile, Silva is coming off a decision win over Louis Gonzalez.
From TUF Latin America 2, Team Escudero’s Enrique Barzola will take on Horacio Gutierrez for the lightweight UFC contract, while Team Gastelum’s Enrique Marin and Erick Montano compete for the welterweight contract.
The main card also features a pair of bouts with potential title implications. Top 125-pound contenders Henry Cejudo and Jussier Formiga are set to compete in a bout that could determine the next challenger for UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. Diego Sanchez will also make his featherweight debut against top-10 contender Ricardo Lamas.
All 26 fighters scheduled to compete on Saturday arrived a day early at Arena Monterrey in Mexico to weigh-in for the event. The full results from Friday’s weigh-ins are listed below:
Main Card (Fox Sports 1, 10 p.m. ET)
Kelvin Gastelum (171) vs. Neil Magny (171)
Ricardo Lamas (146) vs. Diego Sanchez (145)
Henry Cejudo (126) vs. Jussier Formiga (126)
Enrique Marin (170) vs. Erick Montano (169)
Enrique Barzola (155) vs. Horacio Gutierrez (154)
Efrain Escudero (156) vs. Leandro Silva (155)
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
Taylor Lapilus (136) vs. Erik Perez (136)
Bartosz Fabinski (170) vs. Hector Urbina (171)
Scott Jorgensen (135.5) vs. Alejandro Perez (135.5)
Gabriel Benitez (145) vs. Andre Fili (145)
Undercard (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Vernon Ramos (170) vs. Alvaro Herrera (171)
Cezar Arzamendia (155) vs. Marco Polo Reyes (155)
Valmir Lazaro (155) vs. Michel Prazeres (156)