Efraín Escudero (born January 15, 1986) is a Mexican-American mixed martial artist. He trains under Drew Fickett and competes in the 155 lb (70.3 kg) weight class. Efrain was the winner of season eight of Spike TV's reality show, The Ultimate Fighter. Escudero is currently fighting in the Lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Mixed martial arts career
Escudero began his career in the summer of 2006 by putting together two back to back wins in Roland Sarria's Phoenix based Rage in the Cage mixed martial arts organization. He followed up his two fight win streak the following summer by recording 7 straight wins, all by submission. This streak of submissions was the highest recorded in the year of 2007.
Escudero only fought during the summer months because he was a full-time collegiate wrestler. He competed for Pima Community College for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. This is the same college that fellow MMA competitors Drew Fickett, Jamie Varner and Jesse Forbes attended. During the 2006-2007 season, Escudero placed 7th at the NJCAA national tournament in the 157 lb weight class, officially making Escudero an All-American.
In 2007 Escudero stepped out of his summer fight schedule to compete in Full Moon Fighting's inaugural event held in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. This was Escudero's first fight in his birth country of Mexico and he wore a pair of fight shorts bearing the Mexican Flag. This bout was against Tommy Wagner, whom he defeated by submission due to strikes at 1:12 of round 1.
The Ultimate Fighter 8
Escudero was a contestant on the UFC's The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir on Spike TV as a lightweight. He won his first fight against Ido Pariente with a rear naked choke in the first round to make it into the house. He then beat Shane Nelson in the second round with a mounted triangle to earn a spot in the semi-finals. He then beat Junie Browning with a D'Arce choke in the second round to advance to the finals. In the The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir finale, shown on Spike TV, Escudero earned a six-figure UFC contract by defeating Phillipe Nover by unanimous decision. Upon receiving the trophy, Escudero dedicated his win to his late father, who died just before he left for the show. He further dedicated his win to anybody who had ever lost anybody they loved.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Escudero earned his first official win in the UFC on December 13, 2008, by defeating Phillipe Nover by unanimous decision during the main event of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir.
Efrain was set to fight Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 18. Efrain came down with a rib injury that forced him to withdraw from the bout. In an online interview, hosted by Escudero's official website, Escudero confirmed that he would fight Cole Miller at UFC 103. Prior to his fight with Miller, Efrain told FightLockdown.com "I have been concentrating on knocking people out. My hands are improving every day. If they want to keep it standing, I am ready and willing to do just that.”
At UFC 103, in his first post-TUF fight, Escudero eventually earned an impressive KO win over Miller at 3:36 of the first round. He was aggressive throughout, once executing a powerful takedown in lifting and slamming Miller to the canvas. After dropping Miller with a strong jab, he followed up with two ground and pound strikes to the head of his opponent to stop the fight.
Escudero suffered his first professional defeat against Evan Dunham at UFC Fight Night 20 via submission in the third round. Escudero refused to tap until the armbar was at an extreme angle and left the ring under medical supervision before the victory presentation, leading to speculation that the arm was broken. Escudero reassured fans via Twitter that the arm only suffered tendon damage.
After an MRI showed that Efrain's arm was healthy, and he confirmed that he would be fighting Dan Lauzon at UFC 114.
Escudero then defeated Lauzon via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27) after being deducted a point late in the third round for accidentally striking Lauzon in the groin.
Escudero was expected to face John Gunderson on September 15, 2010 at UFC Fight Night 22. Escudero was then set to face Matt Wiman after Wiman's original opponent, Mac Danzig was forced from the card with an injury. Wiman also suffered an injury and was replaced by Charles Oliveira. Gunderson will now face returning UFC veteran Yves Edwards.
Escudero weighed in at 159 pounds, three pounds over the limit, resulting in the fight becoming a catchweight bout. Escudero lost the bout via submission due to a standing rear-naked choke in the third round.
On September 20, 2010, Escudero was released from his UFC contract, making him the second TUF winner to be released by the UFC.
After leaving the UFC, Escudero compiled a 5-1 record, finishing three of his opponents via submission.
Escudero's fourth fight since leaving the UFC came against fellow UFC veteran Fabrício Camões at Tachi Palace Fights 9 on May 5. He lost via unanimous decision after being controlled by Camões for the first two rounds.
Escudero was then scheduled to fight submission wizard Tim Radcliffe at BAMMA 7. However, on September 6, it was announced that visa issues prevented his travel to England.
After visa-issues forced Paul Kelly out of his fight at Legacy Fighting Championship 9, Efrain was announced as his replacement. He was signed to fight Jeff Rexroad on Dec. 16th, 2011. However, Efrain was re-signed to the UFC, causing him to withdraw from the bout.
Escudero faced Tyson Griffin at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 4 on November 2, 2012. Escudero lost via unanimous decision.
Escudero faced Bellator vet Luis Palomino at CFA 12 on October 12, 2013 Escudero won via unanimous decision.
Return to the UFC
In his UFC return, Escudero faced Jacob Volkmann on December 30, 2011 at UFC 141, replacing an injured TJ Grant. He lost the fight via unanimous decision, but was very close to submitting Volkmann in the closing minutes.
Escudero then faced Mac Danzig on April 21, 2012 at UFC 145. Escudero lost the fight by unanimous decision and was subsequently released from the promotion for a second time.
Efrain signed a one-fight deal with Bellator Fighting Championships and fought Cesar Avila at Bellator 55. He won the fight by guillotine choke submission in the first round.
Escudero faced Zack Surdyka on September 20, 2013 at Bellator 100. He won the bout via unanimous decision.
Third UFC stint
Escudero was originally expected to face Francisco Trinaldo on September 13, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 51. However, Trinaldo was replaced in the bout by Leonardo Santos. Escudero lost the fight by unanimous decision.
Escudero faced Rodrigo de Lima on February 14, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 60. He won the fight by unanimous decision.
Escudero then faced Drew Dober at UFC 188 on June 13, 2015. He won the fight by guillotine choke submission in the first round.
Escudero faced Leandro Silva on November 21, 2015 at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. He lost the fight by unanimous decision.
Escudero next faced Kevin Lee on April 23, 2016 at UFC 197. He lost the fight via unanimous decision and was subsequently released from the promotion for a third time.
Following his third release from the UFC, Escudero began competing in various international promotions. Recording decision victories in Urayasu, Chiba and Mons, Belgium. Efrain is next scheduled to compete at the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic against Mansour Barnaoui (13-4) on February, 7th 2017 for EuroFC's inaugural event.
Escudero was a collegiate wrestler at Grand Canyon University. Though he left the school to join the UFC, he eventually returned to earn his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 2011.
Championships and accomplishments
- Superior Challenge
- SC Lightweight Championship (One time, current)
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- The Ultimate Fighter 8 Lightweight Winner
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|37 matches||26 wins||11 losses|
|Win||26–11||Nelson Carvalho||Decision (split)||EB - European Beatdown 1||December 3, 2016||3||5:00||Mons, Belgium, Belgium|
|Win||25–11||Koshi Matsumoto||Decision (unanimous)||Vale Tudo Japan - VTJ 8th||September 19, 2016||3||5:00||Urayasu, Chiba, Japan|
|Loss||24–11||Kevin Lee||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 197||April 23, 2016||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||24–10||Leandro Silva||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale: Magny vs. Gastelum||November 21, 2015||3||5:00||Monterrey, Mexico|
|Win||24–9||Drew Dober||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC 188||June 13, 2015||1||0:54||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Win||23–9||Rodrigo de Lima||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Thatch||February 14, 2015||3||5:00||Broomfield, Colorado, United States|
|Loss||22–9||Leonardo Santos||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Arlovski||September 13, 2014||3||5:00||Brasília, Brazil|
|Win||22–8||Juha-Pekka Vainikainen||TKO (elbows and punches)||Superior Challenge 10||May 3, 2014||3||4:48||Helsingborg, Sweden||Won the SC Lightweight Championship.|
|Loss||21–8||Dakota Cochrane||Decision (unanimous)||RFA 13||March 7, 2014||3||5:00||Lincoln, Nebraska, United States|
|Win||21–7||Luis Palomino||Decision (unanimous)||CFA 12: Sampo vs. Thao||October 12, 2013||3||5:00||Coral Gables, Florida, United States|
|Win||20–7||Zack Surdyka||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 100||September 20, 2013||3||5:00||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Win||19–7||Marcus Edwards||Decision (split)||Sparta Combat League: Live at the Stampede||June 29, 2013||3||5:00||Greeley, Colorado, United States|
|Loss||18–7||Jorge Patino||Decision (split)||Max Sport: 13.2||May 11, 2013||3||5:00||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Loss||18–6||Tyson Griffin||Decision (unanimous)||RFA 4||November 2, 2012||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||18–5||Mac Danzig||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 145||April 21, 2012||3||5:00||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Loss||18–4||Jacob Volkmann||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 141||December 30, 2011||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||18–3||Cesar Avila||Submission (guillotine choke)||Bellator 55||October 22, 2011||1||1:55||Yuma, Arizona, United States|
|Win||17–3||Mike Rio||Decision (unanimous)||CFA 2: McCorkle vs. Hayes||July 23, 2011||3||5:00||Miami, Florida, United States|
|Loss||16–3||Fabrício Camões||Decision (unanimous)||TPF 9: The Contenders||May 5, 2011||3||5:00||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Win||16–2||Ashe Bowman||Decision (unanimous)||XCage: Predators||April 8, 2011||3||5:00||Tijuana, Mexico|
|Win||15–2||Jeremy Larsen||Submission (armbar)||Rage In The Cage 148||January 29, 2011||3||3:21||Chandler, Arizona, United States|
|Win||14–2||Alfredo Martinez||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Desert Rage Full Contact Fighting 8||November 19, 2010||1||1:14||Somerton, Arizona, United States|
|Loss||13–2||Charles Oliveira||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs. Palhares||September 15, 2010||3||2:25||Austin, Texas, United States||Catchweight (159 lbs) bout; Escudero missed weight.|
|Win||13–1||Dan Lauzon||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 114||May 29, 2010||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||12–1||Evan Dunham||Submission (armbar)||UFC Fight Night: Maynard vs. Diaz||January 11, 2010||3||1:59||Fairfax, Virginia, United States|
|Win||12–0||Cole Miller||KO (punches)||UFC 103||September 19, 2009||1||3:36||Dallas, Texas, United States|
|Win||11–0||Phillipe Nover||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs Team Mir Finale||December 13, 2008||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Won The Ultimate Fighter 8 Lightweight tournament.|
|Win||10–0||Tommy Wagner||Submission (punches)||Full Moon Fighting||February 23, 2008||1||1:12||Puerto Peñasco, Mexico|
|Win||9–0||Eric Regan||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Rage in the Cage 99||August 18, 2007||2||2:15||Tucson, Arizona, United States|
|Win||8–0||Jon Kecks||Submission (triangle choke)||Cage Supremacy 2||July 22, 2007||1||2:04||Tucson, Arizona, United States|
|Win||7–0||TJ Zasa||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Cage Supremacy||June 24, 2007||2||0:43||Tucson, Arizona, United States|
|Win||6–0||Peter Newsheller||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Rage in the Cage 96||June 15, 2007||1||1:13||Tucson, Arizona, United States|
|Win||5–0||Jose Rodriguez||Submission (triangle choke)||Rage in the Cage 95||May 12, 2007||1||2:29||Fountain Hills, Arizona, United States|
|Win||4–0||Nic Stone||Submission (armbar)||Rage in the Cage 93||April 20, 2007||2||1:25||Somerton, Arizona, United States|
|Win||3–0||Mike Smith||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Rage in the Cage 92: Cronin vs Vigil||March 30, 2007||1||2:57||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Win||2–0||Joe Cronin||Decision (unanimous)||Rage in the Cage 84: Celebrity Theatre||July 1, 2006||3||3:00||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Win||1–0||Chris Collado||Submission (choke)||Rage in the Cage 83: Rampage||June 10, 2006||1||N/A||Fountain Hills, Arizona, United States|