The cream of the crop of the Mexican MMA scene gathered for the event, there were also some familiar faces from TUF that are worth mentioning, one being Chuntyboy Torres and the Mexican Akbar Arreola.
Sean Shelby scouted over the 100+ group of people in attendance, paying attentive eyes and ears to every single grappling match and Thai pad hitting session. It should be said that his attention span seemed undiminished for the whole 8hrs that action was taking place.
There was a pre-selection process that consisted in sending an email requesting a spot on the actual day, the email was to be sent to any of three well know Mexican MMA coaches chosen for the task, they in return were to reply with the clearance of rejection to the candidate.
I was lucky enough to secure a spot and made the 12hr round trip to professor’s Mario Delgado dojo in Mexico City, which was the appointed venue for the event. Mario is a renowned Renzo Gracie black belt and a UFC color commentator for the Mexican FOX sport broadcast.
I was very glad to see so many old friends and the new faces that are making waves on the MMA circuits over here. I had to wait almost the entire 8hrs to step up to the plate and get my chance to grapple and hit the pads. I´m quite used to this sort of waiting, given that I´m a heavy weight, every time I take part in a BJJ / grappling tournament or every time that I have fought MMA I´m usually starting at the end of the events.
The deal was that anywhere from 10 to 20 fighters will be chosen for a whole paid 6 month long training camp at Greg Jackson´s school with the possibility of signing a contract with the UFC.
If you ask me, this goes way beyond mere marketing and falls right into helping the sport develop in a country well known for having great contact sports athletes and tradition. This sort of thing let´s you see how serious the company is in having the best athletes in the world joining their ranks.
We were not informed of an actual date that the decision will be made, they just said that they´ll get back to the successful candidates. I´m keeping my fingers crossed till then, I was far from being a 100% at the trials thanks to a nagging rib injury I sustained days prior to the casting, none the less I hope Sean saw something worth developing in me to be selected among the fighters making the trip, so all your prayers and good vibes are more than welcome.