Expectations in women’s MMA are higher than ever and the Latinas of Combate Global are taking those expectations and smashing them. The sheer hunger these athletes show and the ferocity in which they execute their game-plans is unrivalled in any promotion, which is why today, well be looking at some of Combate’s killer Latinas and their feats inside the cage!
Combate Global CEO & UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren is always glowing with praise for his Latinas: ”Combate’s most exciting division is the women’s 115 pound division — they are all killers”. A statement that proves true with fans after the success of Combate’s historic all female event ”Combate: Latinas” which pulled the most viewers for an all female MMA event in history.
Ranging from World Muay Thai Champions, boxers and even professional wrestlers these are the Latinas of Combate Global.
Claudia Diaz is a former WMC World Champion back in 2019 and trains at the world renowned Tiger Muay Thai facility in Phuket, Thailand. The Argentinian-Spanish fighter competed in ONE Championship’s Warrior Series before taking a two year break and joining the Combate Global family. Diaz made her promotional debut at the end of April and to say she impressed would be an understatement!
Facing Dulce ‘Sexy Star’ Garcia, Diaz was able use Muay Thai expertise to control the distance and land the heavier shots. Garcia’s constant pressure caused problems throughout for the Muay Thai World Champion, but a failed takedown gave Diaz the advantage to rain down strikes from top position causing the referee to wave off the contest. One explosive performance in and Combate fans are craving for more action, luckily they won’t be disappointed as Claudia Diaz returns to the Combate Global cage June 25th, with an opponent set to be announced soon.
Unbeaten in her professional career so far, 22 year old Yasmine Jauregui is one of the hottest talents at 115lbs in women’s MMA. Excelling on the feet and on the ground, Jauregui caused waves through the MMA community when she made light work of opponent Benni Fuentes in her professional MMA debut. Jauregui quickly caught the attention of Combate Global and signed with the promotion to fight Daniela Espinosa at Combate 36. As promotional debuts go, Yasmine Jauregui could not have wished for a better one. Defeating her opponent in just 13 seconds of the first round by knockout!
She impressed again only two months later as she faced off against McKenna Mitchell and put on a striking clinic causing the ringside doctor to stop the fight in between rounds two and three. Only three months later, Yasmine Jauregui was back in action at Combate 44 against her toughest opponent to date Yaijara Romo. After a back and forth war Jauregui would eventually end up having her hand raised in victory! Her most previous bout was in Mexican promotion UWC where she dismantled her opponent in the very first round causing the fight to be stopped by the doctor at the end of round one. Luckily fans will get to see Yasmine Jauregui June 18th, so mark the date down in your calendars for guaranteed fireworks!
Lucero “La Loba” Acosta
Training under Team United MMA, Lucero Acosta wowed audiences at Combate 36 when she got a surprising TKO finish in her Amateur debut. ”La Loba” would go on to make her pro-MMA debut only six months later defeating Valerie Quintero via unanimous decision at Combate 46.
Acosta would get caught out with a rear-naked choke in her second bout with the promotion only to return in 2021 and put the world on notice with a brutal victory over Allysen Breeden! Despite starting off strong, keeping Acosta on the back foot and throwing heavy strikes in volume, ”La Loba” lands a nice jab-cross combination before unloading on her opponent with fierce tenacity!
The roar of victory echoed throughout the Univision studios and come July 2nd, ”La Loba” will roar again as she steps back in the Combate Global cage. Who would you like to see Lucero Acosta face in her return?
Ranked at #19 in the United States women’s pound-for-pound rankings, New Jersey’s Criszaida Adames should be on every MMA fans watch list. Going 4-0 as an amateur Adames was hailed as one to watch as she started her professional MMA career and watch they did as she cruised to a second round KO. Only a month later from her successful debut, she was in the Combate cage showcasing her talents in a fantastic unanimous decision victory over Alma Cespedes.
Unfortunately her next fight on Combate against Desiree Yanez was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Adames however was given the opportunity to fight on UFC Fight Pass with the promotion CFFC and yet again, put on a show submitting Claudia Baril by rear-naked choke! With hype rapidly building around Adamaes, Combate gave her the well deserved headlining spot on their history making all-female card back in April and as expected, she did not disappoint.
Facing one of her toughest challenges yet in the form of Karen Cedillo, Criszaida battled to a decision victory in what was a fight of the night performance from both athletes. We’re yet to hear of a return date for Criszaida Adames with her competing so recently, leaving fans to ponder which one of the Latinas she will return to face.
Chile’s own Caroline ”Taz” Gallardo has more heart than most making her a formidable foe for anyone of the Latinas on the Combate Global roster! Despite losing her first two fights in her pro-MMA career, Gallardo bounced back emphatically, going on a three fight finishing streak which cemented her place within the promotion. However her first test in the Combate cage would not be an easy venture as she would face the undefeated Melissa Martinez.
Both fighters looked good in the opening round, making it a hard call for the judges to pick a clear winner. Early in the second however, a failed takedown attempt allowed Martinez to capitalise and win the fight via a nasty knee to the head with follow up punches. ”Taz” would not be disheartened by this, in fact she would grow because of it putting on a phenomenal display only seven months later against Corina Herrera, defeating her by Unanimous decision.
From professional wrestling to boxing and finally mixed martial arts, Dulce ‘Sexy Star’ Garcia has done it all! After a phenomenal pro-wrestling career, Garcia decided to leave her luchadora mask behind and throw herself into the world of combat sports. Firstly she tackled boxing and in just over a year went on an impressive unbeaten run of 5-0 before declaring her desire to compete in MMA.
After negotiating a deal with Combate Global back in February 2019, Garcia was quick to make her pro-MMA debut only two months later in May against Mariana Ruiz Avila, which ‘Sexy Star’ went on to win via unanimous decision. Returning to the cage on the highly anticipated Combate 51: Tito vs Alberto card, she impressed once again dominating and submitting Anali Lopez in the first round of their contest. Unfortunately, she tasted defeat when she faced Claudia Diaz with a failed takedown sealing her own fate, but her performances within the Combate Global cage speak for themselves and fans can expect to see ‘Sexy Star’ in another battle very soon!
You simply cannot deny the level of talent Combate possess in the 115lb division and after speaking with Combate’s Senior Vice President of Communications and Operations Mike Afromowitz, fans can feel more reassured than ever that the promotion won’t be slowing down in terms of building their 115lb division: “We are building the most exciting 115 pound division in the world and, by the end of the year, I predict we will have it.”
A strong prediction and one that is certainly not out of reach as Combate Global regularly rank the second highest viewed MMA promotion in North America, ahead of Bellator, ONE and PFL. With a difficult 2020 behind us, audiences are excited for what 2021 may bring. Another Latinas event? One night tournament? Nothing would be come as a surprise!
PREVIEW | UFC Vegas 44: Jose Aldo vs Rob Font
This Saturday, the UFC returns to the Apex for another blockbuster card on paper. The main event see’s the consensus greatest Featherweight of all time, Jose Aldo, take on one of the best boxers on the current UFC roster, Rob Font.
The prelims kick off with a Bantamweight bout between Louis Smolka and Vince Morales. Smolka was scheduled to fight ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley on the huge UFC 264 card, however, had to pull out of the scheduled bout due to an infection. His return on Saturday marks a year exactly since he last stepped into the Octagon, when he defeated Jose Quinonez in December of 2020. Vince Morales has had quite a tough ride so far in the UFC, with his first bout under the UFC banner in 2018 being against power puncher, Song Yadong. After 1 win, he was then granted bouts with Benito Lopez and Chris Gutierrez being beaten in both. I can see the fight playing out on the feet, with Smolka having a lot of success and getting the finish in the first 2 rounds.
A Welterweight bout between Alex Morono and Mickey Gall follows, with Morono looking to make it 3 in a row, after defeating ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and David Zawada already this year. Mickey on the other hand is performing at a win loss ratio of 50%, as in his last 6 fights, he hasn’t put together consecutive wins. Both fighters are Jiu-Jitsu specialists, so I am expecting the fight to play out at quite a slow and patient pace, and can see Morono taking the unanimous decision victory, making it 3 in a row.
The penultimate bout of the prelims see’s Manel Kape face Zhalgas Zhumagulov, in what I predict will be one of the fights of the night. Kape, who is the former Rizin Bantamweight champion, came to the promotion with a lot of expectation and hype due to his previous fights in Rizin and his fight style. His UFC career didn’t get off to the start he may have expected as he was defeated by Alexandre Pantoja, who is the current rank 3 in the Flyweight division and Matheus Nicolau in a controversial split decision loss. He bounced back from a 2 fight losing skid by defeating Ode Osbourne with a highlight reel flying knee. Similarly to Kape, Zhalgas lost his first 2 UFC bouts, bouncing back with his recent win over Jerome Rivera. This bout will mark the first bout of Zhumagulov’s new contract, and he’ll be hoping it mark it with a statement win. I see the bout playing out to Kape’s advantage as his striking is more polished than Zhalgas’, with a unanimous decision victory for Kape what I am predicting.
The featured prelim bout see’s a clash of 2 Middleweights coming off the back of losses. The Serbian, ‘Thunder’ Todorovic faces off against Maki Pitolo in a fight that both need a win to resurrect their UFC careers. Both fighters acquired their UFC contracts through the Contender Series, with both fighters only winning once since their Contender Series victories. I can see the fight playing out on the feet, with Todorovic throwing with volume using the clinch to his advantage, getting a finish.
Kicking off the main card is a barn burner in the middleweight division, between Chris Curtis and Brendan Allen. ‘The Action Man’, Chris Curtis, caused an upset in his UFC debut against Phil Hawes, KO’ing him with a short left hook to the dome. During that fight, he faced some adversity as Hawes was laying it on him with beautiful body strikes and powerful combinations. Brendan Allen, another Contender Series alumni, is looking to stop Curtis’ streak of 6 wins in a row, starting a streak of his own as he looks to end the year with a 100% win record, already with 2 wins for the year. Curtis is going to look to try and keep the fight on the feet, nullifying the threat of Allen’s black belt BJJ credentials. I can see Allen getting the fight to the ground early on with a decision victory or submission win on the cards.
The co-main event see’s an even matchup between ‘Attaman’ Fiziev and Brad Riddell. This matchup is one I am most looking forward too as Fiziev is one of the most explosive strikers in the Lightweight division, coming up against his toughest test so far in Riddell. In his last bout, Fiziev defeated Bobby Green in a war, taking the unanimous decision victory, showing that he’s not just an explosive striker and can in fact, take some punishment as well as dishing it out. Both fighters are coming into the bout 10-1, looking to catapult themselves into a top 10 fight. Fiziev will fancy himself if the fight stays standing but I envisage Riddell shooting for the legs after tasting any of Fiziev’s shots. Fiziev will utilise his Muay Thai style with vicious leg kicks and strikes in the clinch, and I am predicting ‘Attaman’ will get the finish and will be granted a top 10 opponent after being one of the most avoided guys in the division.
The Bantamweight division will again show its quality in Saturday nights main event, when Font and Aldo step into the Octagon. Currently occupying ranks 4 and 5, a win for either fighter gives them a great platform for a title fight, or at the least, a number one contender fight against the recently returned, TJ Dillashaw. Font is coming off the back of a 5 round masterclass against former Bantamweight King, Cody Garbrandt. Before that bout, everyone knew about Font’s elite boxing, but we weren’t really sure how he’d fair against another elite boxer. During the fight, Font stuck behind his jab and jabbed his way to a unanimous decision victory, putting his name at the top end of a stacked Bantamweight division. On the other side of the Octagon you have the King of Rio, Jose Aldo, coming off the back of a unanimous decision victory over Pedro Munhoz where he showed once again that age is just a number, and he is still a man to be feared in the Bantamweight division.
Font’s boxing heavy approach may be his downfall in this fight against Jose Aldo, as if he relies too much on his heavy hands, he may find himself getting chewed up by leg kicks as his feet will be planted too often. Jose Aldo will mix up his attacks better than Font, going from body to head mixing in his powerful leg kicks, closing the distance as much as possible. Font’s keys too victory will be sticking behind his jab and keeping his distance from Jose Aldo, utilising his range and length to his advantage.
In a division that is leaking with talent, who will put on a show on Saturday night and get a possible number one contender fight with former champ, TJ Dillashaw?
Dom Wooding to make first title defence plus fight announcements
Dominique Wooding will make his maiden title defence of the Cage Warriors title, as he takes on the 9-3 Carlos Abreu on the second night of Cage Warriors’ upcoming Double Trouble event on Saturday 11th December.
Several other fights have also been added across both nights of the double header. Talking on his first title defence, Dominique Wooding, who has won both of his fights in Cage Warriors by knockout, said:
“This fight is only going one way and that’s me going three out of three on kills to finish off the year in devastating fashion. There’s a great performance incoming from me and this is the fight that gets me signed to the UFC. Training camp for me and my teammates that are on the Double Trouble cards at GBTT is going really well with solid work being put in day in day out so the team will be riding out in full effect!”
Carlos Abreu enters Cage Warriors with a 9-3 record consisting of one TKO win and four submission wins and will be in the position of challenging for the title in his first ever fight for the promotion.
Ahead of his title shot, Abreu, who has a win over Cage Warriors veteran Chris Miah, spoke about how big his upcoming debut is: “This is the chance of my life! The cage is my home and I am afraid of no man!”
CW 132 will also see the Cage Warriors debut of Wooding’s teammate, Lone’er Kavanagh as he takes on Maximilien Vallot.
Friday’s CW 131 card has also had some more fights added, with Yassine Belhadj, Danilo Belluardo, Luke Riley, Yuki Angdembe, Michael Tchamou and Samir Kadi all making appearances at York Hall.
Speaking on the additions to both nights, Cage Warriors president, Graham Boylan, said: “Every time I look at these Double Trouble cards I get more excited.
“We’ve now got four world title fights with the addition of Wooding, and I’m sure people are interested in seeing how well he will perform in his first fight as champion. Then you look further down the cards and we have some incredibly talented fighters ready to show the world what they can do. These two events are going to be crazy and I can’t wait to end the year with a bang with our fans at York Hall!”
At CW 131, Michael Tchamou will make his Cage Warriors debut in a middleweight contest against Samir Kadi, Luke Riley makes his second Cage Warriors appearance as he takes on GB Top Team’s Yuki Angdembe at bantamweight, while Yassine Belhadj will go toe-to-toe with Danilo Belluardo in the lightweight division.
Tickets for both nights of Double Trouble are on sale here.
CW 131 Friday 10th December
Matthew Bonner (c) vs Djati Melan – middleweight title bout
George Hardwick vs Mehdi Ben Lakhdhar – vacant lightweight title bout
Oban Elliott vs Madars Fleminas – welterweight bout
Yassine Belhadj vs Danilo Belluardo – lightweight bout
Nik Bagley vs Scott Pedersen – featherweight bout
Jean N’Doye vs Tom Mearns – featherweight bout
Liam Gittins vs Kingsley Crawford – bantamweight bout
Adam Cullen vs Mikail Bayram – lightweight bout
Ben Rees vs PK Zadeh – featherweight bout
Samir Kadi vs Michael Tchamou – middleweight bout
Luke Riley vs Yuki Angdembe – bantamweight bout
CW 132 Saturday 11th December
Dominique Wooding (c) vs Carlos Abreu – bantamweight title bout
Sam Creasey (c) vs Luke Shanks – flyweight title bout
Mateusz Figlak vs Kent Kauppinen – welterweight bout
Tobias Harila vs Jair Junior – featherweight bout
Michal Figlak vs Stevie McIntosh – lightweight bout
Jamie Richardson vs Leonardo Damiani – welterweight bout
Paull McBain vs Konmon Deh – featherweight bout
Tanio Pagliariccio vs Aidan James – bantamweight bout
Maximilien Valot vs Lone’er Kavanagh – flyweight bout
Aaron Aby vs Samir Faiddine – flyweight bout
Sumo: Terunofuji achieves first undefeated tournament of his career
The Kyushu basho champion Terunofuji confirmed his undefeated 15-0 record with a tough victory over Ozeki Takakeisho in Fukuoka, Japan.
After an exciting tournament that looked like going down to the wire, the fact that the champion was crowned on day 14 took the final day down a notch in terms of excitement. However, there was still a lot to fight for on day 15 of the basho.
The most notable was the Yokozuna’s attempt to achieve a zensho-yusho (undefeated championship) for the first time. His opponent was Takakeisho, the Ozeki who was only ruled out of contention for the championship on day 13. He gave Terunofuji a good fight but in the end was forced out of the dohyo, giving Terunofuji his maiden 15-0. Looking at the competition at the moment, it’s hard to say that this will be his last.
Otherwise, there were lots of rikishi who were sat on 7-7 and the final day would decide if they move up or down in the rankings. Of those, Daieisho, Wakatakakage, Endo and Chiyomaru were successful, finishing their tournaments on 8-7. Ishiura, Tobizaru, Keisei, Chiyoshoma and Hidenoumi were all defeated on the final day and finish on 7-8. Kaisei’s status in the top division is looking in danger as he is already in the bottom M17 rank.
At the end of the basho, the Sumo Association gives out awards for fighting spirit and skill. Abi and Takanosho were awarded fighting spirit prizes and Ura was awarded the prize for showing his considerable sumo skill.
That brings an exciting basho to an end! Look for more articles over the coming days/weeks which will compile the best matches and finishes from the Kyushu Tournament! To finish, here is the final standings for those who reached double figures in the Kyushu basho.
Terunofuji (Y) 15-0
Takakeisho (O) 12-3
Abi (M15) 12-3
Mitakeumi (S) 11-4
Takanosho (M2) 11-4
Hokutofuji (M12) 11-4
Ura (M7) 10-5
Stick with VMTV for Sumo news between now and the next basho. The VMTV Sumo guide can be found here.
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