Combate 10 was a hit. The pacing, production, and in-cage action all delivered. For Amy Kaplan, a week-long trip to enjoy the event told a different story. One that would have ended in disaster were it not for the work of Combate Americas’ CEO Campbell McLaren and his team.
If you are a fan of mixed martial arts you have probably come across Amy Kaplan’swork. If you are a part of the sport’s hardcore online community, you certainly have. Kaplan is a writer and photographer for Champions MMA and MMA Uncaged magazine.
Combate 10 was not part of the job. Having been to every previous Combate Americas event, Kaplan did not want to miss out on the promotion’s Mexican debut. As a simple fan, Kaplan spent a week in Mexico City which she described as ‘amazing’.
At least, it was up until the final night of her stay in Mexico. The night of Combate 10.
Kaplan’s camera bag was stolen the night before she was due to fly home. That meant that her laptop, lenses, and hard drive with her entire fight library on, were all gone. It also meant that her passport had been taken.
Losing everything in a foreign country is an ordeal. One which is difficult for most of us to understand unless we have been through it. Luckily for Kaplan, a certain CEO found out about the situation and reached into his pocket to make a difference.
“As soon as Campbell (McLaren) found out he, and the rest of the Combate crew, came to my aid,” Kaplan told Cage Pages via email.
“Campbell literally pulled cash out of his pocket and handed it to me to make sure I had money. I was supposed to leave home the next day, but had to scramble to get a new passport from the embassy.”
Money helps, but the care that Combate’s team showed for Kaplan’s predicament helped her get home.
“Campbell personally called the embassy on site, during the fights, to help me figure out where and when I needed to go to get a passport. The entire crew scoured the venue hoping that my bag had been left somewhere. Literally, everyone jumped to my aid.
“The matchmaker (Mel R. Valenzuela) walked me to the police and got me in a car back to the hotel. He never left my side. Brandi, who deals with the travel arrangements, got me a ride to the embassy the next morning and arranged for a new flight home since I missed my early morning flight.
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“They also assured me that if I had to stay in Mexico they would take care of the hotel and any food I needed while I made arrangements home.”
While all this was going on, most of us were sitting in the comfort of our own homes watching the action unfold in “La Jaula” — the Combate Americas combat zone that literally translates from Spanish as “the cage”.
Some were lucky enough to be in the arena when Joey Ruquet, Lisbeth Lopez Silva and Gustavo Lopez won successive main card fights with thrilling submissions.
Amy Kaplan’s experience on fight night was nothing like yours or mine. What should have been a fun night away from work, enjoying the fights as a fan, turned into a nightmare. Kaplan knows who to thank for ensuring stress was kept to a minimum.
“Bottom line, no other promotion would have cared about me like they did. They went above and beyond to make sure I was safe and taken care of. It’s really a true sign of the kind of people who Campbell keeps in his company.”
So when Combate Americas return to Mexico in the future, as they surely will following the overwhelming success of their first event there, will Kaplan be happy to return? Without question.
“This could have happened anywhere. I still love Mexico.”