Efrain Escudero Returns, Fights Jacob Volkmann at UFC 141

Former TUF 8 winner Escudero

Efrain Escudero

TUF 8 champ replaces T.J. Grant on year-end card

Efrain Escudero is back in the UFC.

After a somewhat surprising departure when the promotion released him in September 2010, the Season 8 winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” will return to the organization this month to face Jacob Volkmann at UFC 141. The UFC announced the news Tuesday.

Escudero (18-3, 3-2 UFC) will replace T.J. Grant, who apparently has suffered an injury forcing him off the Dec. 30 card in Las Vegas. Escudero was cut after a submission loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 22. His release was seen as odd, given that he was 3-2 with the organization and hadn’t lost consecutive fights. His other loss in the promotion was a submission setback to Evan Dunham at Fight Night 20. Both submission losses came in the third round.

Escudero got back to work quickly outside of the promotion, though. He went 5-1 in just over a year away from the UFC, including three submission wins. His lone loss came at Tachi Palace Fights 9 in May to UFC/Strikeforce vet Fabricio Camoes. In October, he submitted Cesar Avila at Bellator 55.

Escudero had been scheduled to fight Jeff Rexroad on Dec. 16 for Legacy Fighting Championship, filling in for UFC vet Paul Kelly. Legacy now will search for Escudero’s replacement.