Combate Americas announced today the completion of a stacked, 10-fight lineup for its “Combate 13” Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Ariz. on Thursday, April 20, live on Azteca America and ESPN Latin America (10 p.m. ET).
Among the matchups added to finalize the card are a welterweight (170 pounds) showdown between a pair of undefeated, rising stars in Daniel Rodriguez (3-0) and Joel Champion (4-0), neither of whom have been taken the distance of a fight yet, as well as a women’s atomweight (105 pounds) contest between unbeaten sensation Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (2-0) and hard-nosed battler Stephanie “The Cyclone” Alba (3-1).
In the bantamweight (135 pounds) main event of “Combate 13,” accomplished veteran Roman “El Gallito” Salazar (10-5-1) of Scottsdale, Ariz. will collide with knockout artist Ricky “El Gallero” Palacios (7-1) of Mission, Texas.
“We have a fantastic lineup of fights assembled, and we are excited about bringing the Combate Americas live television series to Arizona for the first time ever,” said Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren.
The 6-foot-1, 29-year-old Rodriguez, who recently signed an exclusive, multi-fight contract with Combate Americas, has notched all three of his professional wins to date inside of two rounds. In his last effort on January 21, the Alhambra, Calif. resident scored a second round (3:55) TKO (punches) on Christian Gonzalez.
Also 6-foot-1 and 29 years of age, Champion of Tucson has not been pushed past the second round of a fight yet. In his last start on October 1, 2016, he scored a first round (4:13) knockout on Chris Collins.
Zappitella is a 4-foot-11, 22-year-old resident of Brighton, Michigan and decorated amateur wrestler, who is coming off an extraordinary victory in Sanya, China on February 25 where she submitted Miao Ding with an arm-triangle choke in the second round of a matchup contested at flyweight (125 pounds), two weight classes above Zappitella’s natural fighting weight.
The 4-foot-11, 34-year-old Alba of Houston, Texas will look to return to the win column after suffering a split decision defeat at the hands of old rival Paulina “Firefox” Granados at “Combate 5” last May 9. Prior to the loss, Alba had gone unbeaten in her campaign as a professional.
In other action, Victor “Kelevra” Reyna (8-3) will meet Andy “Golden Boy” Perez (7-3) at welterweight.
The 5-foot-11, 30-year-old Reyna of Dallas, Texas has earned six of his eight professional career wins by way of (T)KO or submission, while Perez of Tucson, a 5-foot-9, 28-year-old, is looking to record his second straight victory after notching a first round (2:16) submission (rear-naked choke) win over Anthony Wray on October 1, 2016.
Originally slated to face Irwin “The Beast” Rivera (5-2) of Palm Beach, Fla., Randy Steinke (17-10) of Payson, Ariz. will now square off with Urijah Faber-protégé Erick Sanchez (7-3) of Sacramento, Calif., while Rivera will do battle with unbeaten Kevin “Quicksand” Natividad (2-0) of Phoenix, Ariz.
The 5-foot-10, 26-year-old Sanchez is looking to bounce back quickly from a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Andres “The Bullet” Quintana at Combate 11 on February 16. Prior to the loss, the Team Alpha Male member held an unblemished, 2-0 record in La Jaula, the Combate Americas cage.
Originally from Hawaii, the 24-year-old Natividad owns two, first-round victories – a submission (rear-naked choke) of Josue Rodriguez at the 3:04 mark of the first frame in what was Natividad’s pro debut on November 19, 2016, and a TKO (punches) of Jesse Ortiz that came at the 2:52 mark of the opening round of action on January 28.
Natividad turned professional after amassing a perfect amateur record of 6-0. Five of his amateur victories came by way of TKO or submission.
The “Combate 13” preliminary bout card will also feature two flyweight matchups – the first between Arturo Guzman (0-1) of Tucson and Robert Caspar (0-0) of Copperas Grove, Texas, and the second between Justin Rascon (2-1) of Tucson and Jose Palencia, Jr. (1-1) of Tempe, Ariz.
To location what station Azteca America airs on in your market, you can log onto the network’s channel finder.
In addition to Azteca America and ESPN Latin America, “Combate13” will air on TV Azteca in Mexico the following night, Friday, April 21, at 11 p.m. CT. It will be distributed by UFC Fight Pass® as a video on demand.
Complete “Combate Americas: Combate 13” Fight Card
Bantamweight Main Event:
Roman Salazar vs. Ricky Palacios
Middleweight Co-Main Event:
Kobe Ortiz vs. Eddie Arizmendi
Bantamweight: Irwin Rivera vs. Kevin Natividad
Welterweight: Benny Madrid vs. Chad Dietmeyer
Welterweight: Daniel Rodriguez vs. Joel Champion
Atomweight: Alesha Zappitella vs. Stephanie Alba
Featherweight: Erick Sanchez vs. Randy Steinke
Welterweight: Victor Reyna vs. Andy Perez
Flyweight: Justin Rascon vs. Jose, Palencia, Jr.
Flyweight: Arturo Guzman vs. Robert Caspar