Andres “Bullet” Quintana secured his position as the best featherweight in Combate Americas by winning the Copa Combate and the $100k Grand Prize.
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) December 8, 2018
In what was shaping up to be a dramatic final, Andres “Bullet” Quintana of the United States was able to land a perfect spinning back-elbow to stop Mexico’s Alejandro “Gallito” Flores to win the Copa Combate and claim the $100,000 grand prize. In the early going, Flores was the more active fighter as he controlled the distance with kicks and was able to slip shots from the aggressive Quintana.
In the final frame, Flores seemingly stunned Quintana with a jumping left kick and swarmed with punches. Quintana, still on his feet, went for a spinning back-elbow that landed square that dropped Flores. With seconds remaining in the round, Quintana followed up with unanswered shots on the ground to secure the tournament.
With the victory, Quintana caps off what has been an amazing run in the company as he adds onto the five wins he has under the Combate Americas banner. The favorite going into the tournament, Quintana survived a scare in the semifinals as he rallied back to defeat Bruno Cannetti after being in similar trouble before landing a left-hook that led to another TKO finish. Quintana had also gone to decision earlier in the evening in defeating Marlon Gonzales.
After the fight, Quintana said “I’ve been training since I was about twelve years old for this moment and this is such a dream come true. I can not believe it. Thank you everyone who supported me: my coaches, my friends, my family, I love you all. USA, I told you I was not going to let you down on the [anniversary of] Pearl Harbor baby!”
When asked about the money, Quintana said “The money’s nice and all but I came in here tonight to test myself and prove to myself what I could do. I was beat up coming into this fight, those inside leg-kicks and I got dropped. I just had tough it out and show the heart of a champion. This is what champions are made of. They go through adversities and they come in the cage and do what they got to do.” He also finished by saying to CEO Campbell McLaren that he was looking to get a championship belt from the company next.
In the night’s co-main event, Corina Herrera rallied back to defeat promotional newcomer Maria Buzaglo. Buzaglo did a good job outpointing the aggressive Herrera on the feet while also getting the better of the scrambles on the mat in the first round.
The second round began with more of the same until Herrera got the fight to the ground and was eventually able to secure a guillotine. There was a moment of controversy as it appeared Buzaglo tapped once to the choke but the ref did not see the call. As Herrera continued to hold the choke, it appeared she might exhaust her grip before being able to get the finish but Herrera adjusted and was able to get the stoppage.
Other action came throughout the night from the tournament’s competitors. In the prelims, Argentina’s Bruno Cannetti had an emphatic finish in the quarterfinals by stopping Joey Ruquet in the first round by knockout. Finalist Alejandro Flores also had an impressive submission of John Bedoya to begin his tournament run as he secured a D’Arce choke that punched his ticket to the semifinals.
One of the more exciting fights of the night was one that was set to be used as filler. James Porter scored a dominant victory over Albert Gonzales in a fight in which Gonzales survived several devastating shots to see the final bell.
The event concludes what has been a landmark year for the promotion as it was their first year with new network partner Univision. Combate Americas also resuscitated their English broadcast by making a deal with streaming service DAZN. Inside the cage, they also crowned their inaugural champion as José “Pochito” Alday took home the first ever title belt for the company and set-up a fight with former UFC stand-out Erik “Goyito” Perez next year.
Main Card Results:
Andres Quintana def. Alejandro Flores via Knockout – Round 1 (2:49) Final
Corina Herrera def. María Buzaglo via Submission (Guillotine) – Round 2 (4:01)
Andres Quintana def. Bruno Cannetti via TKO – Round 1 (2:05) Semifinal
Alejandro Flores def. Pablo Villaseca via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) Semifinal
Preliminary Card Results:
James Porter def. Albert Gonzales via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-25 x 2)
Andres Quintana def. Marlon Gonzales via Unanimous Decision (10-9 x 3) Quarterfinal
Alejandro Flores def. John Bedoya via Submission (D’Arce Choke) – Round 1 (3:03) Quarterfinal
Bruno Cannetti def. Joey Ruquet via Knockout – Round 1 (1:32) Quarterfinal
Pablo Villaseca def. Daniel Requeijo via Split Decision (10-9, 9-10, 10-9) Quarterfinal
Gustavo López def. Vicente Márquez via Submission (Verbal Tap) – Round 1 (0:50)
Pablo Sabori def. Michael Irizarry via Unanimous Decision (10-9 x 3)
Paul Elizondo def. Nathan Napolitano via Submission (RNC) – Round 2 (3:52)