Imagine showing up to the TUF 18 tryouts, excited, motivated and all ready to go, thinking that you’ve followed all the rules correctly as written, only to be turned away by the UFC brass themselves.
This is exactly what took place with former UFC Flyweight Ulysses Gomez. Gomez showed up for the most recent TUF tryouts thinking he could earn his way back into the octagon via grinding through the tournament and dealing with all the reality TV house drama.
However according to Gomez, who recently made an appearance on the MMA Hour, he claimed he was turned away due to his previous UFC experience:
“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.”
Tough luck is what it sounds like, but as Sean Shelby said, stay healthy because you truly never know what could possibly happen. It is the UFC afterall, and the Flyweight division isn’t exactly busting at the seems with competitors.