Efrain Escudero: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
It didn't take long for Efrain Escudero to find a new home.
The winner of the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” has signed with Shine Fight Promotions, the organization announced via press release on Wednesday.
Escudero was released by the UFC on Sept. 20 after dropping two of his last three fights. A former junior college All-American wrestler, Escudero began his MMA career in 2006, winning his first 10 fights before being cast as a member of the “TUF 8” house. The Mexican American defeated fellow cast member Phillipe Nover by unanimous decision at “The Ultimate Fighter 8” finale to win a contract with the UFC. Escudero found success inside the Octagon, defeating Cole Miller before running into fellow up-and-comer Evan Dunham at UFC Fight Night 20 in January, where he lost by third-round armbar in an exciting bout. The 24-year-old most recently lost to rising star Charles Oliveira in September, and was subsequently cut by the organization.
“Going to Shine is the first step to becoming a world champion,” said Escudero. “As far as my career goes, things happen, and I don’t live in the past. I’m excited to get this show [on] the road. Shine, here I come!”
Escudero joins his mentor, Drew Fickett, in the relatively competitive Shine Fights 155-pound talent pool. The organization’s most recent event was a one-night, eight-man lightweight tournament on Sept. 10 in Newkirk, Okla., which Fickett won with a trio of submissions. Other competitors who fought in the event included UFC and WEC veterans Charles Bennett, Rich Crunkilton and Carlo Prater. Shine is perhaps best known for its on-again, off-again relationship with former boxing world champion Ricardo Mayorga, who was scheduled to fight Din Thomas earlier this year before a Don King injunction killed the match-up just hours before it was to take place.
No date or opponent has been set for Escudero’s Shine debut, though the release stated that an announcement would be coming soon.