On the heels of the action-packed Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 Finale, which went down last Saturday night (April 13, 2013) in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) officials are already looking for the next Kelvin Gastelum, holding tryouts for season 18 of the combat sports reality show in "Sin City."
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters from around the globe headed to Vegas in hopes of making the September broadcast, which will have for the first time, both men and women living together and competing for a UFC contract.
Appearing on "The MMA Hour," "Useless" revealed he went to the tryouts expecting a fair shake and a chance to get back into the Octagon through the TUF format, but was denied the opportunity because he is a former UFC fighter.
"The good thing is I live in Vegas, so, I didn't have to go far. I got the application and filled it all out. The application didn't say anything that I couldn't try out because I'm a UFC veteran. So I said, why not. I got there around 6:30 am and probably around 15-20 people in front of me. Once they opened registration up, I gave them my paperwork and they checked my weight and took my picture. So I sat down and waited for them to call me. So I sit and then they call me and three other people. By the time I got there, they had told the other three guys they couldn't try out as well. I didn't recognize them, so I don't think it was for the same reason I couldn't try out. I think they didn't have enough fights. So I go up and they said, 'You can't try out because you're a former (UFC) fighter.' And I'm like, ‘What?' The application does not say I can't. There have been other former fighters that have tried out like Joe Lauzon, Wes Sims and all that. So he says, ‘Well, you're not allowed to.' I was like, ‘Would you mind if I talk to Joe Silva and Sean Shelby?' They said, 'Oh no, go ahead.' So I asked Joe Silva and he says, ‘Yeah, you can't try out, it says on the application.' But, it didn't say it on the application; I guess it says it on the website."
Despite the recent setback, Gomez says he is still determined to get back into the ranks of UFC whether it's to compete in the bantamweight or flyweight division.
Perhaps if ZUFFA decides to hold another "comeback" season, which once featured former UFC fighters looking to fight their way back on television, then Ulysses might have a shot. That, or stay ready and healthy in case anyone gets hurt, as Gomez revealed UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby advised him to do.
Anyone agree with the decision to deny Ulysses a chance to get onto the show? And is it time for another "comeback" season?