Campbell McLaren, the co-creator of the UFC, has struck gold again with his new Hispanic promotion Combate Americas. The promotion debuted back in September 2015 and is already a fan favorite amongst viewers.
The sold out crowd at The Exchange LA could be seen wrapped around the block, eager to watch another great night of fights.
For the most recent event, which aired live on UFC Fight Pass, we saw fan favorite John "Sexi Mexi" Castaneda fill in on just one week's notice (and went up in weight) to face top prospect, Angel Cruz.
Castaneda seemed uncomfortable the first round and was not as aggressive as he is normally, perhaps due to the weight difference. But the warrior that fans are used to emerged in the second round, and he secured a stunning TKO stoppage. This win brings his win streak to six, including four under the Combate banner.
FIGHT OF THE NIGHT
My pick for fight of the night was a slugfest between Jonathan Santa Maria and Albert Tapia. The first round was fairly routine, and close. It could have easily gone either way.
In the second round Santa Maria was rocked badly. Tapia dominated most of the five minutes. I thought the fight would be stopped more than once, but Santa Maria hung on despite the ginormous hematoma that sprouted above his left eye. After a check from the doctor the third round began.
I didn't think Santa Maria would be able to make it through another five minutes, but not only did he prove me (and pretty much everyone else) wrong, but he turned the tables and mirrored what has been done to him. It was one of the greatest comebacks I had ever seen. The crowd went CRAZY. This was a fight that had been wanting to see.
The heart that both fighters showed it what sealed the deal as my fight of the night.
They made it the full three rounds (somehow) and went to the judges scorecards. The crowd was on the edge of their seats, it was down to the first round, and it was a close one.
One judge scored it as a draw, which I would have agreed with. The other two scored for Tapia. Either way, this fight was bananas.
The rest of the fight card went off without a hitch, seeing fan favorite Jose 'Froggy' Estrada secure another first round knockout, Erick 'The Ghost Pepper' Gonzalez with a second round TKO stoppage and Jonathan Quiroz avenging his previous Combate Americas loss by claiming a dominant unanimous decision victory.
John Castaneda defeats Angel Cruz via TKO (Strikes) at 2:25 of Round 2
Danny Martinez defeats Benny Vinson via Unanimous Decision
Benji Gomez defeats Heinrich Wassmer via Split Decision
Albert Tapia defeats Jonathan Santa Maria via Majority Decision
Marcos Bonilla defeats Izic Fernandez via Split Decision
Jose Estrada defeats Christian Cardona via TKO (Strikes) at 2:24 of Round 1
Erick Gonzalez defeats Yoandy Carrillo via TKO (Strikes) at 3:13 of Round 2
Jonathan Quiroz defeats Ryan Lilley via Unanimous Decision
**Daniel Rodriguez defeats Hector Saldana via Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) at 3:45 of Round 1
**Hakob Ter Petrosyan defeats George Hernandez via TKO in Round 2
**Swing bouts that were fought after the main event