Friday May 31st, Combate Americas is coming to South America for the first time with Combate Peru, an unprecedented event inside the South American country’s capital. On that stage, Colombian Andres Ayala (12-7) will seek his first victory and will try to redeem himself after his debut in the promotion.

Ayala’s beginnings within Combate Americas were not easy.  The fighter from Bogotá was invited to participate in Copa Combate 2017, but due to issues with his team not traveling with him, he did not make weight, and he was unable to compete.

Although his trip to Cancun for the Copa Combate 2017 didn’t pay off, Ayala accepted the situation and embraced it as an opportunity to improve. With that outlook, he managed to get a second chance to fight for Combate Americas. He faced off against Erik “El Goyito” Perez in the Combate Monterrey main event last November, with less than one month’s notice.

Érik "Goyito" Pérez derrota a Andrés Ayala

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In the packed Nuevo León Gimnasio, Pérez defeated Ayala, winning the fight via rear naked choke, at minute 3:39 of the first round. This was the seventh career loss for the Colombian fighter, a second disappointment for Ayala in “La Jaula.

Now, six months later, Ayala seeks to redeem himself yet again, when he faces Peruvian veteran Renzo Mendez (12-7) in a fight that could define Ayala‘s future.

Andres Ayala

"Desde que acepté la pelea es un reto para mí, es una experiencia grande" – Andrés Ayala#CombatePeru

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“Well, this new opportunity is not going to be wasted,” Ayala said in an interview. “With everything I learned from the past, I picked it up and improved those details that had failed. I haven’t stopped training, and I’m focused on the failures that had happened to me.”

Andrés is an innate sportsman, who started training in combat sports at 17 years old. He originally wanted to be a professional soccer player, and even played as a goalkeeper for a while.  However, his height and skills took him down the path of MMA. Ayala, has a 12-7 record, with 6 victories by KO / TKO and four wins by submission. He is a very explosive fighter.

Ayala, who has a 2-4 record in his last six bouts, thinks that his next performance in “La Jaula” will be a shocking “surprise.” He plans to show off how much he has evolved since his last fight.

“Every fight is different,” he said. “Every event is different; all people are different for each fight; so, here I’ll give a surprise.”

Mendez, Ayalas upcoming opponent, is on a 4-win streak and will make his Combate Americas’ debut against the Colombian. Ayala will have his third opportunity within the promotion to showcase his skills and, above all, to live up to his expectations, his country’s and his fans’. Mendez may have the advantage, fighting in his own country and city. However, Ayala explained that it was something that he mentally accepted as soon as he took the fight.

“Fighting as a visitor, or just accepting the fight, for me is a challenge and I took it,” Ayala said with great confidence. “It’s part of this sport and you said it yesterday, we’re crazy, fighters are crazy doing this and I love what I do, and I think that being in his land with all his people, in his arena, that’s when the challenge begins, since I accepted the fight it’s a challenge for me, it’s a big experience, but here we are… for what we want to do, and if this is for me, that’s how it is going to be”.

Combate Peru will take place at Coliseo Manuel Bonilla in Lima, Peru, and will be broadcast exclusively in English in the United States and Canada on DAZN(12am E, 11pm C, 9pm PAC), as well as on Univision (12am E, 11pm C) and on Univisión Deportes (12am E, 11pm C, 9pm PAC).