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TUFLAM 3: Episode 1 thoughts

Season 3 of the The Ultimate Fighter Latin America kicked off August 24th.  Filmed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the coaches are a pair of UFC Hall of Famers: Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin.

We see the fighters arrive to the TUF gym and naturally, they are excited. As a fan, it reminded me of just how far the TUF series and the UFC have come.

The 16 fighters are awed when Liddell and Griffin walk in.

Liddell and Griffin lay out their thoughts, along with a video message from Dana White and we get to the business of getting 16 into the house.

The fighters go through some basic drills for the coaches to evaluate.

Team Liddell gets first pick after a coin flip.


Claudio Puelles

Chalo Illanovich

Leonardo Rodriguez

Javier Ganin

John Bedaya

Santiago Cardenas

Fabian Quintanar

Juan Villaseca


Martin Bravo

Pablo Sabori

Miguel Villegas

Marcelo Rojo

Alejandro Martinez

Yasser Castillo

Walter Zamora

Jose David Flores

Courtesy UFC/Zuffa LLC.

Flores was chosen last, for the record. He thinks it was because they probably don’t know him. I would tend to agree. He can make them remember his name with a good showing.

Team Griffin gets to pick the first fight.

Pablo Sabori vs Santiago Cardenas

The house is a straight-up-mansion, fully stocked with food and the amenities you would expect.

What could possibly go wrong?

Team Griffin wants to get Cardenas to the ground. Sabori’s wrestling is the ticket, so they worked positions with Sabori accordingly.

Team Liddell thinks the striking of Cardenas was underestimated. They are banking on Santiago’s strikes to bring home the fight.

If you want to rest, go home – Chuck Liddell

Santiago Cardenas  weighs in at 155 pounds. Pablo Sabori weighs in at 154 pounds.


Cardenas takes the outside and starts off swinging early. Sabori catches him coming in and grabs him near the fence. Sabori gets him down after a brief takedown and starts working in Cordenas guard. Cardenas defending well, but taking some strikes. 2:35 left. Cardenas needs to get up and get some more offence in. Sabori won’t let him. There were some opportunities to explode, but Cardenas didn’t try to use them to get up. With about 20 seconds left, Sabori gets full mount, and then transitions to an armbar and gets the tap.


Tough loss for Cardenas. He admitted after the fight he didn’t listen to his coaches.  Sabori advances to the quarterfinals.

Team Liddell gets to pick the second fight for Episode 2.

Claudio Puelles vs Jose David Flores


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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