Combate Americas pulled a fast one on Invicta Fighting Championships, securing the services of undefeated Michigan phenom Alesha "Half Pint" Zappitella -- the most heavily-hyped atomweight prospect in the history of women's MMA.
The 22-year-old will jump right into the deep end of Combate Americas' 105-pound pool, as she meets Stephanie "The Cyclone" Alba (3-1) on April 20 at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Ariz. "Half Pint" has a ton of momentum behind her, with back-to-back wins in her first two professional MMA starts.
An elite-level wrestler, Zappitella used her impressive ground skills to secure a victory over Jayme Hinshaw last year in her pro debut, a fight contested under the King of the Cage banner. Her follow-up performance put the rest of the world's atomweights on notice, as she traveled to China and finished Miao Ding via submission, proving she's much more than just a wrestler.
Training with Team SFS's James David Gray has elevated Zappitella's game to the next level. Her Brazilian Jit Jitsu skills are now just as deadly as her wrestling. The thing is, "The Cyclone" is clearly a step up in competition, and it'll be interesting to see how the youngster deals with a gritty, battle-tested warrior. Alba is older and more experienced, a veteran of over a dozen cage fights, including her amateur career.
The Houston talent has stepped in against a bevy of high-level opponents, including UFC vets such as Jamie Moyle. A win over Alba (3-1) would prove that Zappitella is the real deal. The fight, which airs live on Azteca America and ESPN Latin America, will be part of the "Combate 13" main card.