Combate Americas kicked off their fall season with a bang as they determined two tournament participants and had big wins for their rising stars.
Combate Americas determined two of the fighters for the Copa Combate on a night that saw seven finishes in ten fights in Long Beach, California. It was a showcase for both the established and up-and-coming stars of the promotion as highly touted members of the roster all came up big with impressive victories. Though there were two special one five-minute round contests on the televised main card, only one fighter needed the judges as three of the bouts ended within the first few minutes.
In the night’s main event, Bellator veteran Gaston “Tonga” Reyno won a thriller against Carlos Ochoa in his promotional debut. Early on, Ochoa dropped Reyno and looked as if he might pull off the upset as he landed several big shots to his hurt opponent. Reyno survived the onslaught but Ochoa would take the back and secure a with grip on the neck as he attempted to finish a rear naked choke. However, Ochoa’s lack of control of the body led to a dramatic escape for Reyno who then rallied to reverse the position and finish Ochoa with a rear naked choke of his own to finish the fight. Afterward, it was announced that Reyno would be representing Uruguay in the Copa Combate.
Also punching his ticket into the tournament was Andres “Bullet” Quintana who showed impressive ground skills in defeating Erick “Ghost Pepper” Gonzalez. Quintana prevailed in a bout that saw several transitions on the mat against a game Gonzalez before finally securing a rear-naked choke to get the finish. Quintana will head into the tournament as the representative for the United States and as the favorite to win the competition.
The night also saw the representative for Mexico be determined as Alejandro “Gallito” Flores defeated Pablo “El Gallo Negro” Sabori by unanimous decision. Sabori initiated the clinch early and looked to stifle Flores, a surprising tactical move considering the bout was a special one five-minute round contest. Flores was able to break from Sabori and subsequently did damage on the feet before following up with effective ground-and-pound on the mat. Sabori looked poised for a dramat as Flores continued to rain shots and indicate to the ref that he was not in danger. After the fight, Sabori required assistance leaving the cage as he had injured his leg during the bout.
Rising company star Melissa “Super Mely” Martinez was also in action as she notched her fourth consecutive victory in Combate Americas in taking out Francis “Hit Girl” Hernandez. Hernandez appeared to give Martinez problems early on, using punches to stop her from coming inside as the two felt each other out. The two exchanged combinations several times in the cage before Martinez landed a hard front kick to the liver that badly hurt Hernandez. Martinez moved to follow-up but referee Herb Dean stepped in to call the bout. CEO Campbell McLaren has said that he believes the 21 year old Martinez is a star in the making whom their strawweight division can be built around.
Main Card Results:
Gastón Reyno def. Carlos Ochoa via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Rd. 1 (2:21)
Andrés Quintana def. Erick González via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Rd. 1 (2:41)
Melissa Martínez def. Francis Hernández via TKO (Strikes) – Rd. 1 (2:33)
Alejandro Flores def. Pablo Sabori via Unanimous Decision (10-9, 10-9, 10-9)