Combate Americas returns to Los Angeles with its first card of the year Friday at the Shrine Expo Hall, and the lineup will feature the MMA debut of reigning boxing champion Amanda Serrano.
The original main event has been scrapped after Marc Gomez, who was supposed to meet John Castaneda, was ruled ineligible because of a detached retina. Jose Alday replaces Gomez.
Serrano also has a new opponent, Corina Herrera, after Erendira Ordonez was unable to secure a work visa.
Combate has slowly gained traction within the MMA community with action-packed fights that feature some of the premier Latino fighters in the world.
The current stable of fighters hail from countries including Mexico, Chile and Spain, and the organization has been able to lure notable fighters such as Serrano, who is co-managed by former UFC champion Miesha Tate. Former UFC bantamweight Erik Perez will make his Combate debut next week in Monterrey, Mexico.
Combate recently secured a new television deal with Univision, which should increase its exposure starting with this 9 p.m. card.
“… This will be our debut with Univision — and I think Univision will help us to cross every single city and corner in the U.S. and Latin America — I’m excited to see Amanda Serrano compete with us. … She is the most decorated female boxer in history and to have the opportunity to have her with Combate makes me really happy,” Combate President Alberto Del Rio said.
Del Rio is a former WWE champion and comes from a legendary Lucha Libre family from Mexico.
His father is Dos Caras and his uncle is Mil Mascaras, two of the most famous participants in Mexican professional wrestling history.
“I know it’s going to be a spectacular event here in L.A., and the fans are always good to us,” Del Rio said.
Del Rio also shares broadcasting duties with UFC fighters Gilbert Melendez, Julianna Pena and Beto Duran.
He said that with such an extensive background in pro wrestling, he appreciates the transition that former UFC superstar Ronda Rousey is making with her recent signing to the WWE.
“I think it’s good for her,” he said.
“Her MMA career was pretty much done. She gave what she needed to give to the sport. You can say whatever you want to say about Ronda, but she’s the one that put the female fighters in an important place. She made the sport for women, and it was a great decision to go to the WWE and make some money. Of course, she must work a little bit on her ring skills when it comes to pro wrestling, but I think it was the right move and at the end of the day, she was always someone that loves and respects pro wrestling.”