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Combate Global Heads To Colombia on November 17, Live on Paramount+

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COMBATE GLOBAL announced today that, for the first time in history, it will bring its brand of Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) action to Colombia with a world championship tripleheader event at Coliseo Medplus in the capital city of Bogotá on Friday, Nov 17, live on Paramount+.
 
The live Paramount+ stream of the event will begin with a 30-minute pre-show, co-hosted by Jimmy Smith and Rodolfo Roman, at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT on November 17, and continue with the first bout at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
 
The event, being produced in partnership with Colombian MMA outfit, Matchmaker, will mark COMBATE GLOBAL’s return to South America for the first time since prior to the pandemic, as well as the first COMBATE GLOBAL live event outside of a Miami-based television studio since before the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.
 
In 2019, COMBATE GLOBAL produced two live events in South America.  Since 2021, the company has signed over two dozen of the best, new South American male and female professional MMA athletes, and has positioned itself to expand to its live event series to the continent, beginning with the November 17 event in Bogotá.
 
“Our commitment to South America, strategically including Colombia, Argentina and Chile, has never been greater,” said COMBATE GLOBAL CEO, Campbell McLaren.
 
In the world championship featherweight (145 pounds) main event on November 17, COMBATE GLOBAL superstar Javier “Blair” Reyes (16-3) will challenge Stiven “Pantro” Valencia (7-3) for Valencia’s Matchmaker title. 
 
“We have wanted to bring COMBATE GLOBAL to Colombia because of the avid MMA fanbase and talent pool there, and Matchmaker has given us an excellent opportunity to do so for the first time with a world championship tripleheader in Bogotá,” said Mike Afromowitz, Senior VP of Operations and Communications with COMBATE GLOBAL.
 
A resident of Bogotá and the number one-ranked featherweight from Colombia, the 30-year-old Reyes, who boasts a 75 percent finish rate, is in the midst of a phenomenal, six-fight win streak that dates back to December 2019.
 
Reyes, in his last COMBATE GLOBAL start on May 28, easily dispatched of Mexico’s Jordan “Bull” Beltran, submitting Beltran with a rear-naked choke in the first round (4:24) of action.
 
Valencia is a 34-year-old competitor from Buenaventura, Colombia looking for his fourth straight win after scoring a record 4-second knockout on Steven Martinez on April 21.
 
To date, Valencia, a 10-year veteran of professional MMA, has produced a stellar finish rate of 71 percent.
 

In a world championship welterweight (170 pounds) co-main event between undefeated competitors, Jesus “El Cuervo” Alberto Rangel (3-0) will take on Alexis “El Juggernaut” Campos (3-0).
 
The matchup between Rangel of Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico and Campos of Estado Falcón, Venezuela will be contested as the first-ever Matchmaker welterweight world title fight.
 
The 27-year-old Rangel will see action for the first time since March 4, when he earned a unanimous decision over Sergio Nava. 
 
At 29 years of age, Campos is quickly becoming a force in MMA’s 170-pound division, racking up three straight wins by way of TKO in his first three professional starts since turning professional in 2019.
 
Prior to joining the professional ranks of the sport, Campos compiled a perfect 5-0 record as an amateur earning all 5 of his victories by way of (T)KO or submission.
 
The third world championship bout in Matchmaker’s bantamweight (135 pounds) division will pit Andres “Doble A” Leal (15-11) of Bogotá against Jeffry “The Bullet” Gil (4-6), also of Bogotá.
 
In a featured bantamweight contest, recent COMBATE GLOBAL signee Harry “El Cuervo” Gomez (11-1) will collide with Juan Pablo Mendoza (6-6).
 
Gomez is a 21-year-old prodigy who COMBATE GLOBAL scooped off of the regional MMA circuit in his native Salinas, Ecuador in June and signed to an exclusive, multi-fight, multi-year agreement.
 
The best, new bantamweight to come out of Ecuador, Gomez will see action for the first time in 2023. 
 
To date, Gomez, also a national Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion, has earned 72 percent of his professional MMA wins via (T)KO or submission.
 
Mendoza, 39, is a 9-year veteran of the sport.  He holds a black belt in kickboxing, a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is a former national kickboxing champion.
 
In other action on the card, Ronald “El Lobo” Vásquez (4-3) of Medellin, Colombia will battle undefeated Nicolas “Nico” Bojacá (3-0) of Bogotá for the vacant Matchmaker national flyweight (125 pounds) championship.
 
Leading off the card will be a lightweight (155 pounds) affair between Dumar “Corazón de León” Roa (18-14) of Boyacá, Colombia and Jon “The Problem” Zarate (9-11) of Medellín, Colombia.
 
All three championship fights on the card will be contested as five-round bouts, while the non-championship fights will be contested as three-round bouts. 
 
The co-promoted event will be regulated by Organización Colombiana de Artes Marciales Mixtas (OCAMM), the sole MMA organization recognized by The Ministry of Sport of the Republic of Colombia.

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ALEX PEREIRA REJECTS FIGHT WITH MAGOMED ANKALAEV

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The next step in the fascinating UFC journey of Alex Pereira remains to be seen. ‘Poatan’ pulled off a sensational knockout finish over Jamahal Hill in the first round of their main  event bout at UFC 300 to defend his light heavyweight belt. 

Credit: MMA Fighting

In his post-fight interview, the Brazilian called for the opportunity to compete at  heavyweight at UFC 301 which takes place in Rio De Janeiro in just a couple of weeks. UFC president Dana White seemed unenthusiastic about that idea, however, and it  seems now that the dust has settled after 300, Pereira is a little more willing to take his  time before signing up for his next fight. 

In an interview with MMA Fighting’s Trocacao Franca podcast, Pereira was asked if he’d  rather defend his 205lb title again or test the waters in the heavyweight division. He responded: 

“It’s hard to answer that. I haven’t thought too much about it yet. If it’s a longer period of  time, I’d obviously rather defend my belt. If it takes too long and I fight at heavyweight  and there are injuries, when am I going to defend my belt? I don’t want to hold up the  division. 

I was imagining the best-case scenario when I called for a heavyweight fight at UFC 301,  but I have two broken toes. Both feet are f*cked. It’s complicated. I don’t want to hold up  the light heavyweight division. A cool scenario would have been fighting at heavyweight at 301 and then giving the opportunity to someone to fight for the light heavyweight belt  next. I think that would have been cool”. 

205lb contender Magomed Ankalaev has called for a fight with Pereira on the UFC’s  October pay-per-view card in Abu Dhabi, but ‘Poatan’ brushed that idea off instantly, saying: 

I don’t want to fight at the end of the year. I want to fight sooner, so maybe that shows  he won’t be ready. I don’t know why he said that. This guy is complicated”. 

If Pereira manages to get another win under his belt and is ready to go again before the  end of the year, he said he would much rather compete on the Madison Square Garden  event in November, which is closer to his current home in Danbury. 

“It makes total sense” he said. “Wait one more month and I’m fighting at home? It’s so much better”.

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“This Is A Stage I Have To Challenge On” – Masaaki Noiri Signs With ONE Championship

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ONE Championship’s striking roster has continued to flourish in 2024, and it got even stronger this week with the announcement of another elite kickboxer putting pen to paper in the world’s largest martial arts organization. Japanese megastar Masaaki Noiri has officially inked a deal with ONE, and he’s set to add further depth to the stand-up ranks. 

Noiri is a former two-division K-1 World Champion and Grand Prix Champion, and he’s also a former WBC Japanese Muay Thai Champion.

Fighting in ONE will allow him to switch between the two sports whenever he wants, and this is an exciting prospect for the 30-year-old.

“As ONE officially announced, I have signed a contract with ONE Championship, the highest stage for striking. If I want to pursue being the strongest in the world that I believe in, this is a stage I have to challenge on,” Noiri said. 

“I believe ONE is the ultimate stage for striking, so I wanted to challenge myself in that ring. I’m pursuing to be the strongest in the world through martial arts, so I chose this path to test if the current Masaaki Noiri can make it in ONE.”

It would be remiss of ONE’s hottest new signing not to have World Title ambitions as he embarks on his new journey. 

However, along with gold, Noiri’s looking to show the world what strikers from his country can do, and he hopes a world-class compatriot can help him in that mission.

“[My plan is] to definitely win the ONE world title,” Noiri said. 

“Not just me, but together with Takeru Segawa. And we’ll prove the strength of Japanese fighters to the world.”

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ARMAN TSARUKYAN FIRES BACK AT CHANDLER

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Arman Tsarukyan has hit back at Michael Chandler after the former Bellator champion stated last week that Tsarukyan made a big mistake in turning down a title fight with Islam Makhachev. Tsarukyan was apparently offered a shot at the UFC lightweight champion in the immediate aftermath of his win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 300, but surprisingly turned it down. 

Tsarukyan’s win over ‘Do Bronx’ saw him leapfrog the Brazilian into the #1 contender spot. The Armenian was asked to face Makhachev in the main event at UFC 302 which  takes place on June 1st but declined the offer due to the quick turnaround after 300. The  fight was then offered to Dustin Poirier who accepted, and it seems Tsarukyan is now  back waiting in line again for his chance. 

After Chandler told Ariel Helwani on a recent appearance on The MMA Hour that he didn’t understand why Arman Tsarukyan didn’t take the fight, Tsarukyan took to social media to fire back. He tweeted: 

I don’t expect you to understand Michael Chandler. We are not on the same level. I am  here to be the champ. You are just waiting for a paycheck. I also don’t understand why you waited Conor fight for 2 years, you could’ve lost 4 exciting fights during that time”. 

Chandler is finally slated to fight McGregor during International Fight Week on June 29th after a long wait since the pair coached opposite each other on season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter. 

The most likely next step for Arman Tsarukyan could be to fight the winner of Makhachev v Poirier.

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