For the first time in its history, UFC®, the leading organization of mixed martial arts, will produce content in Argentina. Televisa and Mandarina TV, a local TV production company, will be responsible for the creation of the third edition of The Ultimate Fighter® Latin America for UFC.
The reality show, since its first airing in the U.S. in 2005, has produced more than 30 seasons. The Latin American version made its debut in 2014 and has launched two seasons that were previously recorded in Las Vegas. For the first time, the show will be produced and filmed in Argentina in May and June of 2016 with an airing date set for late August. The series will be broadcasted in over 20 countries in Latin America through UFC Network, free-to-air partners in the region and UFC FIGHT PASS®.
“After two successful first seasons we felt it was time to move the center of the stage from Las Vegas to Latin America to create a more direct link between the participants and their roots, and to offer a completely new experience to the viewers as well as the athletes” said Jaime Pollack, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Content for Latin America. “We also believe in the expansion of the brand in the region and we truly believe that this may be the next step to bring a live event to the Southern Cone in the next coming years,” added Pollack.
In the reality show 16 fighters live, train and compete to for a chance to win a contract with the UFC. The Ultimate Fighter® has recorded over 30 seasons over these past 11 years: 22 seasons in the U.S. as well as various international editions (Brazil, Australia, China, Canada, Latin America and Europe). The series introduces audiences to the nature of mixed martial arts, based on the values of respect, friendship and sacrifice.
“We are just starting to develop local content in the region for the rest of the world. We want to cross over the borders and show that excellent production quality can come from Latin America and that we trust that a country like Argentina has the ability to accomplish this project. We believe Mandarina TV will be a strong ally in building a great season,” expressed Fernando Muñiz, CEO of Televisa Networks.
“As a producer we had never participated in such a thorough selection process and we are proud that UFC has chosen Mandarina TV. It is a great opportunity to show the resources we have in Argentina. It is a great challenge and we are really excited to tell the life story of 16 Latin athletes fighting to achieve the same dream,” said Mariano Chihade, CEO of Mandarina TV.
In addition to the taping of The Ultimate Fighter® Latin America, open tryouts will be held in Buenos Aires March 10th, where all male and female fighters of any weight class will be invited to attend.
Several winners of The Ultimate Fighter® have gone on to become UFC champions as seen with Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Matt Serra and Carla Esparza. Latin America is eager to have more local talent in the UFC and this next reality show, filmed in Argentina, could be the opportunity to see its awakening.
About The Ultimate Fighter® Latin America
• The Ultimate Fighter® Latin America was the first Spanish speaking edition of the reality show – two seasons have been previously filmed.
• The latest seasons of The Ultimate Fighter® Latin America premiered in late August of 2014 and 2015. The reality aired on 14 free-to-air channels in Latin America.
• In 2014 the premiere of the reality in Mexico had an audience of over 7 million on Channel 5.
• UFC Network subscribers had the opportunity to watch the complete series, replays and also view exclusive content on both the channel and ufcnetwork.com.
• The winners of the first season were Mexicans participants Yair Rodriguez (featherweight) and Alejandro Perez (bantamweight). The winners of the second season were Peruvian lightweight fighter Enrique Barzola and Mexican welterweight Erick Montaño.
• The coaches of the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter® Latin America were heavyweight fighters Cain Velasquez, representing the Mexican team, and Fabricio Werdum, on behalf of the Latin American team.
• The second season included the winners of the series’ season 17 and 8, Kelvin Gastelum and Efrain Escudero, as the head coaches of fighters from across the region.
• Current UFC fighters that originated from The Ultimate Fighter® Latin America: Yair Rodriguez, Alejandro Perez, Henry Briones, Masio Fullen, Marco Beltran, Jose Quinones, Guido Canetti, Marlon Vera, Diego Rivas, Erick Montaño, Enrique Barzola, Cesar Arzamendia, Alvaro Herrera, Polo Reyes, Hector Aldana, Enrique Marin, and Fredy Serrano.
• Fighters from the two seasons originated from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Spain, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.