The cross section for inclusive production of $f_2(1270)$ meson

is calculated. We include both the mechanism of gluon-gluon fusion

as well as the $\pi \pi$ final-state rescattering.

The contribution of the gluon-gluon fusion is calculated within

the $k_t$-factorization approach with modern unintegrated gluon

distribution functions (UGDFs).

Some parameters for the $g^* g^* \to f_2$ vertex are extracted from

the $\gamma \gamma \to f_2(1270) \to \pi \pi$ reactions.

The results strongly depend on the parametrization of the

$g^* g^* \to f_2(1270)$ form factor.

Results of our model are compared to the ALICE preliminary data.

The gluon-gluon fusion does not explain low-$p_t$ data but could

be the dominant mechanism at somewhat larger meson transverse

momenta.

By adjusting some parameters the pion-pion rescattering can explain

the low-$p_t$ region.