Combate Americas will stage its first card of 2018 in Los Angeles on April 13 and it will feature the MMA debut of reigning World Boxing Organization women's bantamweight champion Amanda Serrano, the only women's boxer to win world titles in five divisions.
Combate Estrellas 1 will take place at the Shrine Expo Hall, headlined by the bantamweight rematch between John Castaneda (16-3) and Marc "Lufo" Gomez (21-11).
In her pro mixed martial arts debut, Serrano (36-1) will follow the trail of other successful boxers making the transition to MMA. She was preceded by former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm, Heather Hardy and Ana Julaton.
"I've been boxing professionally for the last 11 years of my life and I've accomplished everything I can in boxing," Serrano said. "A few years ago, I filmed a movie ["Fight Valley"] with Holly Holm, Miesha Tate and [Cris] Cyborg and I remember Holly kept telling me how big MMA was becoming and her regrets about not going into MMA sooner.… That kind of stuck in the back of my mind."
Serrano said she plans to continue her boxing career simultaneously and plans to defend her title after the April MMA bout.
"My goal is to become the first woman to be a boxing and MMA champion at the same time," she said.
Serrano received offers from other promotions after she expressed interest in competing in MMA but ultimately decided that Combate was the perfect fit for her.
"I love what they do for Latino fighters and if anyone knows me, they know I'm a proud Puerto Rican and Latina," Serrano said.