We got to know TUF 28 competitor Leah Letson, who has high aspirations heading into the reality show tournament.
What many people believe to be the last season of The Ultimate Fighter is in the process of being recorded at the now famous, or infamous, TUF house in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 28th installment of the fight-based reality show will showcase the women’s featherweight division as well as heavyweight men. TUF 28 ‘Heavy Hitters’ will feature season 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum and reigning middleweight champ/former TUF ‘Smashes’ winner Robert Whittaker as coaches.
This season’s grouping of women’s featherweights is solid, to say the least, but for one fighter in particular, her UFC moment is finally here after it was snatched away once before.
Leah Letson spoke with Cageside Press about entering the TUF house, pre-fight jitters, and finally reaching the UFC.
“I’m excited to be competing on the show at 145-pounds,” Letson told Cageside Press. “I’m really looking forward to it. I saw all the girls that tried out and I feel really confident. I did a scouting report myself and my coach Jake looked up all the fighters and I like my chances to become the last Ultimate Fighter.”
Strong words perhaps, but the 25-year-old Army Air National Guard Staff Sergeant means every single word she said.
“I’m a surveillance technician, a unit base technician, and an electronic detection technician,” explained Letson. “I was deployed all last year and that’s why I can’t wait to get back into the cage. I was overseas in the Middle East serving my country for the last year and a half. I’m just dying to get back in there and show off all my new tools.”
New tools aplenty, Letson has been acquiring her new arsenal of MMA weaponry with the burgeoning fight-team in Milwaukee, Wisconson, Pura Vida BJJ. Training mixed martial arts has been something of a Godsend for “Nidas,” who found it difficult to transition back to civilian life upon returning from her last tour of duty.
“I hope I can serve as a role model for men and women coming back from service,” Letson revealed. “Coming back [home] was such a challenge mentally for me, people talk about being away from home and that being the hard part but I found coming back and being reintegrated into society was the hard part.”
Personally, I find it hard to believe that Letson has a hard time doing anything; despite not yet making her official UFC debut, the Pura Vida fighter has lofty aspirations. “I’m coming for the 135-pound belt and the 145-pound belt,” said Letson.
“No women has ever won a title in two weight classes and I’m here to make history.”
Leah “Nidas” Letson’s quest to become the women’s GOAT begins August 29, kicking off TUF 28 on FS1.