Combate Americas announced today that it will bring its live Azteca America (10 p.m. ET) television event series to Tucson, Ariz. for the first-time ever on Thursday, April 20 with a stacked, 11-bout card at Casino Del Sol, headlined by a bantamweight (135 pounds) showdown between accomplished veteran Roman “El Gallito” Salazar (10-5-1) and knockout artist Ricky “El Gallero” Palacios (7-1).
The event, “Combate13,” will also be distributed live on ESPN Latin America and by UFC Fight Pass® as a video on demand. It will air on TV Azteca in Mexico, the following night, Friday, April 21, at 11 p.m. CT.
In the co-main event, prolific finishers and Tucson rivals Kobe “The Stunna” Ortiz (15-5) and Eddie “Crazy Face” Arizmendi (17-7) will collide in a middleweight (185 pounds) contest.
“We are excited to be bringing our live television series to a new market that has a reputation for being a great fight town filled with passionate fans and decorated combat sports athletes,” said Combate Americas President Alberto Rodriguez.
Also slated for action, Benny “El Hijo” Madrid (9-3) will take on Chad Dietmeyer (8-1) in a welterweight (170 pounds) battle, and submission expert Randy Steinke (17-10-1) will face off with aggressive-minded, Blackzilians camp member Irwin “The Beast” Rivera (5-2) in another bantamweight contest.
Additional matchups will be announced soon.
Roman Salazar vs. Ricky Palacios
The 5-foot-7, 29-year-old Salazar of Scottsdale, Ariz. is a three-time Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC) veteran who will make his first start of 2017, and his first-ever in La Jaula.
In his last effort at WFF 32 on November 19, 2016, Salazar defeated Gilberto Aguilar by way of unanimous decision.
Also 29 years of age, the 5-foot-6 Palacios of Mission, Texas will put on the line a four-fight win streak that includes back-to-back finishes – a second round (3:14), one-punch knockout of Carlos Ricardo Diaz on June 12, 2015, and a stunning, first round (1:00) head kick knockout of Benji Gomez at “Combate2” on Sept. 17, 2015 – as well as a “Fight of the Month” nominated, unanimous decision conquest of Brandon Royval at “Combate7” on May 9, 2016.
Also unbeaten (2-0-1) as a professional boxer, Palacios has earned 5 of his 7 professional MMA career wins by way of (T)KO.
Kobe Ortiz vs. Eddie Arizmendi
The 6-foot, 35-year-old Ortiz is riding a two-fight win streak after producing back-to-back stoppages in his last two appearances – a third round (4:45) TKO (punches) of Dano Moore on October 3, 2015, and a third round (:24) TKO (punches) of Brendan Tierney on March 20, 2016.
Ortiz has notched 12 of his 15 career wins by way of (T)KO or submission.
Arizmendi is an 11-year veteran of the sport, and winner of his last two matchups. On October 3, 2015, he forced Brendan Tierney to retire after the second round (5:00) of action and, on March 5, 2016, he took a unanimous decision from Nick Salantri.
Benny Madrid vs. Chad Dietmeyer
Fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz., the 5-foot-10, 36-year-old Madrid has earned 8 of his 9 professional career victories by way of (T)KO or submission.
Madrid will step into La Jaula after back-to-back, first round wins – a submission (rear-naked choke) of Jeff Fletcher that came at the 1:26 mark of the opening round on September 18, 2015, and a knockout of Roberto Leon that occurred at the 1:10 mark of the first stanza of their matchup.
Dietmeyer is coming off a four-year layoff from competition. In his last start on March 30, 2012, he faced his toughest test to date in UFC and DREAM veteran Antonio McKee, taking McKee the distance of their fight before finding himself on the losing end of a unanimous decision.
Randy Steinke vs. Irwin Rivera
The 5-foot-9, 31-year-old Steinke of Payson, Ariz. will enter La Jaula for the first time after scoring back-to-back, first round submissions over just a two-week span, on Ray Robinson and Guillermo Pena on October 1, 2016 and October 15, 2016, respectively.
Rivera is a 5-foot-6, 28-year-old native of Windsor, New York who relocated to South Florida to join the famed Blackzilians camp. To date, three of his five career wins have come by way of (T)KO or submission.