Erik “Goyito” Perez made his Combate Americas debut as the promotion held their second event of 2018 with a rousing trio of fights in Monterrey, Mexico.
Combate Americas featured a three night televised card from Monterrey, Mexico as they held their sophomore event on Univision. The card featured a pair of fights in the bantamweight division, including the promotional debut of UFC veteran Erik “Goyito” Perez.
In the main event, Perez faced David “DJ” Fuentes in a rematch of a bout from eight years ago where Fuentes took the victory. Perez showed no signs of ring rust after more than a year away as Fuentes had no answer for the relentless barrage of strikes from “Goyito.” Perez finally connected on a clean right hand early in the third round that badly stunned Fuentes and was able to follow-up with another clean shot against the cage that prompted the ref to stop the contest.
Moving forward, Perez figures to be a focal point for the organization and is not without options for his next outing. Last Friday, Jose Alday shocked the promotion by defeating promotional star John Castaneda and figures to have earned a shot at Perez later this year. Copa Combate champion Levy Marroquin was unable to compete on the undercard but also figures to be a possible opponent down the line.
In the co-main event, Marcelo “Pitbull” Rojo needed less than a round to defeat Fabian Galvan. Rojo had superior footwork and was able to set up a clean right hand to stop his more aggressive opponent. Rojo is now back in the win-column after having suffered his first loss in two years to Marroquin last November in the Copa Combate tournament.
Rounding out the televised action was Melissa “Super Mely” Martinez who defeated Ivanna “La Parca” Martinenghi. Martinez had scored knockouts in her previous three fights but was unable to score the finish in front of her native crowd despite her best efforts. Martinenghi survived huge shots in all three rounds but managed to regroup each time and slow down Martinez with her counterstriking. Martinez, 20 years old, was awarded a unanimous decision and now moves to 3-0 in the promotion.
While Combate Americas aired the main card on Univision Deportes, the promotion also had a stacked undercard on Facebook Live that featured several of the best moments of the night. The bout that drew the most attention was Ricardo “El Loco” Arreola against Ivan Perez. Both men engaged in a back-and-forth contest that saw each man have turn the momentum in their favor. The first round was a close affair in which Perez was more accurate but Arreola was able to score a brief knockdown. In the second round, Perez controlled the action as he was the more technical fighter and began to cut the face of “El Loco” with his strikes. However, Arreola rallied back in the third to dominate with his aggression as Perez appeared too exhausted to continue engaging. Scores were split 29-28, 28-29, and 29-28 in favor of Arreola for the victory.
Irene “La Nina” Cabello made her promotional debut after fighting in RIZIN in 2017. Her replacement on short notice was Mexico’s Lezly Hinojosa, the girlfriend of Copa Combate winner Marroquin who was making her professional debut. Cabello came forward looking to initiate a brawl but Hinojosa was able to win the first round by unloading with big combinations inside the pocket. The second round was more of the same until Cabello landed a clean right hand that stunned Hinojosa. From there, “La Nina” opened up against the cage and landed several unanswered blows that forced the ref to end the contest. The crowd expressed disapproval as their local fighter was never dropped and protested the stoppage.
Also in preliminary action, 19 year old David Martinez needed just a little more than minute to get the Monterrey crowd going as he knocked out Enrique Barragan. Martinez had spent the majority of the time moving out of the way of the visibly impatient Barragan and was able to set up a perfect counter right hand that ended the fight instantly.
Combate Americas will hold their next event on May 11 in Sacramento.