Sports

Combate Americas Set To Crown Lightweight Champion

Combate Americas announced its first world lightweight (155 pounds) championship bout in history – a main event showdown between undefeated phenom Rafa “Gifted” Garcia (10-0) and fellow top contender Erick “Ghost Pepper” Gonzalez (10-3) – that will headline the premier Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports franchise’s return to Mexicali, B.C., Mexico on Friday, Sept. 20, live on television in the U.S. on both Univision (12 a.m. ET/PT) and TUDN (12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT) from Auditorio del Estado.

Priced from MX $330, tickets for the Combate Americas world championship event are on sale at CombateAmericas.com/Mexicali.

“Our first world lightweight title fight is a matchup between two of the entire sport’s most exciting and aggressive, young athletes – Rafa Garcia and Erick Gonzalez – that have earned their respective ways to the championship bout by pulverizing the competition in their division,” said Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren.

A protégé of MMA superstar Cub Swanson, the 24-year-old Garcia, originally from Mexicali, fights out of Swanson’s camp in Palm Springs, Calif., and has been unstoppable as a professional, thus far, reeling off all but one of his 10 victories by way of (T)KO or submission.

In his first two starts of 2019, Garcia, ranked as high as number one in the lightweight division in Mexico, was victorious over Edgar Escarrega via second round (1:07) submission (rear-naked choke) on February 8 and over veteran Estevan “El Terrible” Payan via first round (4:50) submission (rear-naked choke) on June 7, respectively.

The 27-year-old Gonzalez of Redondo Beach, Calif. is similarly in the midst of a banner year, coming off a gritty, hard-fought conquest of Won Sik Park via second round (2:25) TKO (punches) after a see-saw battle with “The Korean Gangster” for much of the Combate Americas-promoted fight leading up to the memorable finish in Los Angeles on April 26.

Gonzalez started off 2019 with a dominant, first round (3:45) TKO (ground and pound) of Alejandro “Pato” Martinez at Combate Americas in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico on March 8.

Additional bouts for the event will be announced soon.

Doors at Auditorio del Estado will open for “Combate Baja” at 6 p.m. local time, and the first preliminary bout will begin at 7 p.m.

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