The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2 airs on UFC FIGHT PASS on Wednesday, September 2
Season two of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America kicked off a week ago with coaches Kelvin Gastelum and Efrain Escudero divvying up the teams and then making the first fight official as the lightweights began the competition.
Cesar Arzamendia got things started off on the right foot for Team Gastelum as he made quick work of Team Escudero fighter Oliver Meza by TKO in the first round. The quick finish not only put Arzamendia into the second round, but it allowed Gastelum to stay in control of the latest fight pick, this time shifting over to the welterweight division.
So this week, Team Gastelum will send Erick Montano - the No. 1 pick for the team in the welterweight division - against heavy-handed striker Marco Olano from Team Escudero.
If Montano looks somewhat familiar, it's because he bears a striking resemblance to his older brother Augusto “Dodger” Montano, who currently fights in the UFC's 170-pound weight class. The elder Montano made quite the splash in his debut last year when he won by TKO in his first fight while also making his hometown crowd go wild in the first ever UFC show in Mexico.
Erick Montano followed in his brother's footsteps after they both followed their grandfather, who was a professional boxer that competed several times in the United States during his career. Montano comes from a fighting family, but doing the reality show this year was a way for him to break out of his brother's shadow and create a name for himself. Winning this week to kick off the welterweight tournament will go a long way towards Montano beginning his own UFC career while continuing to build the fighting legacy of his family.
On the other side of the Octagon this week will stand knockout artist Marco Olano from Team Escudero, who comes to the show with an impressive 6-1 record overall, with all six victories coming by first-round knockout. Looking at Olano's resume proves that this UFC newcomer has plenty of pop in his punches because he not only has several knockout finishes, but many of them didn't make it to the one-minute mark of the first round.
Despite those impressive accolades, Olano will express some displeasure going into his matchup this week that Team Gastelum isn't giving him the respect he deserves. Then again, being underestimated can definitely be a weapon and Olano might do better to stay quiet and surprise a few people rather than make some noise to get attention.
Away from the two fighters battling it out this week, the training for both teams starts to pick up intensity as the competitors begin drilling and learning under the two coaches. Like clockwork, unfortunately, the first training accident of the season will also happen in the latest episode airing this Wednesday.
No matter how much precaution is shown, these kinds of things tend to unfold on every season of The Ultimate Fighter, but it's never done out of malice and usually ends up as a crazy moment of happenstance. It's no different this week as one fighter deals with a training injury while his season is threatened after only a few days as part of the cast. How will he react and how seriously will this affect the fighter's ability to stay in the competition? Tune in this week to find out.
Also, the age old tradition of Ultimate Fighter pranks kicks up once again this season, although it's clear from the outset that Efrain Escudero holds an advantage over his counterpart, Kelvin Gastelum.
While the extreme pranks and bad decision making have died down in many recent seasons of The Ultimate Fighter, Escudero lived through one of the craziest years in the history of the show when he took part in season eight.
During his season on the show, Escudero endured a crazy drinking party gone wrong just days into living at the house, as Junie Browning and Shane Nelson engaged in a night filled with alcohol and stupidity that ended with both of them nearly being kicked off the show. The pranks were also legendary, including everyone's underwear being Saran wrapped to Ryan Bader's mattress at one point before itching powder landed in more than a few beds, as well as Escudero's own undergarments getting soaking wet and placed in the freezer.
The pranks eventually escalated to the point where bodily fluids were involved and, needless to say, that's where things finally crossed a line. Escudero's influence on his team will be felt this week when they decide open the can of worms against Team Gastelum, but thankfully in a fairly harmless manner by comparison.
Once the pranks and played and the fighters get ready, it's fight time in the welterweight division.
Montano was the top pick from Team Gastelum thanks to his veteran experience and maturity that led him to a 6-3 record against some solid competition before making it to The Ultimate Fighter. Montano is well-rounded, although his best weapons remain on the ground, where he has a variety of submissions at his disposal and a stifling attack to stave off his opponent's aggressive striking.
Olano has to know going into this fight that Montano wants him on the mat, but he's such an incredibly fast starter that he will probably put his fists in the Team Gastelum fighter's face as quickly as the referee says go. Olano is a southpaw, which makes him even more dangerous, considering preparation for a left-handed fighter can sometimes take weeks to prepare for and Montano will have a matter of days. Olano is dangerous early, but can he survive late if he's not able to get the quick finish?
Find out this week on the latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2 as Team Escudero tries to even the score in the second fight of the season against Team Gastelum.