Weslaco’s Gilbert Urbina has followed in the footsteps of his older siblings, as the third Urbina brother to appear on The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC’s mixed martial arts reality television series that follows fighters as they compete for a six-figure contract with the UFC.
Urbina was one of eight middleweights (185 pounds) chosen to compete on The Return of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Alexander Volkanovski vs. Team Brian Ortega. Although Urbina normally fights in the welterweight division at 170 pounds, the opportunity to be the third Urbina brother on TUF was too good to pass up.
“Following them and having older brothers that were doing great things kind of had me under looked, not overlooked. I’m excited to be the third Urbina brother on the show, but since I was 18, I have had dreams of being in the UFC,” Urbina told the UFC during a pre-show interview.
Finally seven weeks into the show, Team Volkanovski’s Urbina (6-1) is set to make his TUF debut tonight as he faces Miles Hunsinger (7-0) on ESPN+, ESPN’s online streaming service.
A former student at Weslaco East High School, Urbina grew up watching his older brothers, Hector and Elias, training and competing in wrestling. It wasn’t long before the younger Urbina hit the mats.
He went on to qualify for the UIL state wrestling tournament from 2012-14, competing at 182 pounds while at Weslaco East.
Urbina has spent the last seven years making a name for himself in the mixed martial arts world since turning pro at 18.
Half of Urbina’s six professional wins have been by stoppages — two rear naked choke submission victories and a ground and pound first round TKO in 2014 fighting under the STFC banner.
After witnessing Hector compete on TUF 19 on Team Frankie Edgar vs. Team BJ Penn, and Elias on TUF 23 on Team Joanna Jerdzejczyk vs. Team Claudia Gadelha, the younger Urbina hopes to secure a pair of wins on TUF 29, which would place him in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter.
“Growing up training at American Top Team and at Jackson-Wink, seeing how much love they put into the game and the mindsets, I have that. I already know I have that,” Urbina said. “It makes me more valuable to the UFC. Even if I don’t win the show, just like my brothers fell short of winning the show, I know I’ll get picked up by the UFC because I got what it takes.”