Category Archives: Amateur MMA



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (April 27, 2017) – Never one to back down from a challenge, or an opportunity to call out the competition, “The” Ryan Sanders is irked by the tone of the scuttlebutt since his first fight with Jon Lemke last November.

Yes, the skirmish stopped during the third round, due to a deep cut on Lemke’s head. But with Sanders leading comfortably, 20-18, on all three cards, he was declared the winner.

It all fell in line with the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, and it surely reflected Sanders’ conviction that he was well in command of the bout and on his way to victory, regardless. Since that night, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, however, Sanders, 29, says that Lemke and others in his camp have been a tad too outspoken about their belief that it was somehow a tainted victory.

In a recent interview with Jason Floyd on “The MMA Report Podcast,” Sanders held nothing back when queried about his motivation to dole out another beating when the former training partners meet this Saturday, April 29 in a rematch at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

This time, it’s the tournament final for the vacant lightweight title at “NEF 28: Invincible.”

“I was a little upset afterwards that (Lemke) said he thought it should have been a no-contest,” Sanders said. “What Jon won’t talk about or say is that right before I got that takedown, he quit. He quit in my arms.”

Sanders (13-8) clarified that comment, adding that while Lemke (6-7) didn’t say the word explicitly, his vast experience in the cage underscored his belief that the end was nigh.

“A fighter knows when someone is about to give up, and Jon was about to give up,” he said. “He wasn’t fighting that takedown in my arms. He was just dead weight in my arms, so it’s a bit frustrating that he would say that.”

It didn’t take long for the stars to align and serve up the second helping that both fighters’ fan bases crave. With a shot at the strap in the offing, both men made short work of their 155-pound tournament semifinal opponents in February.

Sanders landed a vicious kick to the jaw of John Ortolani that ended their confrontation in a mere 15 seconds. Lemke was just as impressive, needing only a minute longer to dispatch Jesse “the Viking” Erickson.

Typically it’s the defeated fighter in this scenario who covets the chance at vindication, but Sanders sounds like the one with an axe to grind after hearing some of the public perception about his previous win.

“I’m happy that we get a rematch and to be able to show everyone that the first time it wasn’t a fluke and to have my hand raised again,” Sanders, who is 6-1 in his past seven fights, said. “I’m unstoppable right now. I’m surrounded with the best people. I’ve got great teammates, great coaches and an amazing wife … Any guy who fights me, they are (screwed).”

Asked if he is bent on earning a submission to achieve a measure of unfinished business, Sanders quickly declared that any form of victory will suffice.

“Not necessarily to get a stoppage victory, but I’m going to show him. It will be five months since we fought, and I’ve been in the gym every day, and I’m going to show him that he’s not on my level,” Sanders said. “Eventually the victory will come whether it’s a submission, a TKO, a knockout. Jon does have a lot of heart, but I’m going to be stealing it from him. I’m going to steal his soul and I’m going to break his will.

“I’m a grappler, so I do prefer a nice submission victory,” he continued. “But whatever he gives me I’ll take, and I’m going to go in there and take it. I’m going to take that belt home. That is my belt, and I’ve worked too hard to let anyone else take it from me.”

The rivalry between Sanders and Lemke is a natural one. They were former stablemates at Team Irish before Sanders switched to rival Young’s MMA.

Sanders said he didn’t earn enough takedowns for his liking in the previous encounter, but he believes the scorecards were an accurate reflection of how he dominated the fight.

“I knew he was a tough dude. He could take a punch. He could take a kick,” Sanders said. “I feel like I was getting the best of it.”

A second bout with Lemke fits Sanders’ profile as a fighter willing to take on anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Sanders, who has been matched in his career with the likes of Marcus Davis, Gil de Freitas, Levan Makashvili, Luis Felix and Derrick Kennington, has won his last five in a row on Maine soil.

He dropped back-to-back decisions to de Freitas in his two previous bids for an NEF title and naturally predicts that he won’t let the third chance at gold slip away.

“I know with the training I’m putting in that I’m destined for greatness,” Sanders said. “My work has shown that, and my future fights will show that. I know I’m there to fight the best. Look at the guys I’ve fought. They’re UFC or Bellator vets, or they’re top-five fighters in the region.

“(The fans are) going to witness a great fight, a great performance by Ryan Sanders,” he concluded. “They may say, ‘This guy’s being (a jerk). He’s real cocky.’ It’s not that I’m cocky. I’m fully confident in my training and in my training partners and in my coaches and in myself that I am ready to fight anybody in the region and beat anybody in the region.”

The opening bell for “NEF 28: Invincible” on April 29 is set for 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and are available at or by calling the Colisee box office at 207.783.2009, extension 525.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (April 27, 2017) – Not everybody in life gets blessed with a shot at redemption. Jonathan Lemke will bask in that opportunity on multiple fronts when he battles “The” Ryan Sanders for the vacant NEF lightweight title this Saturday, April 29 at Androscoggin Bank Colisee as part of “NEF 28: Invincible.”

It’s the second shot at the NEF strap for Lemke, who lost a split decision to Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington in February 2016 at “NEF 21: THE IMMORTALS.” Lemke also looks forward to the rematch with Sanders after their fight in November was abbreviated due to a gash on Lemke’s head.

“Definitely after the way the last one ended, I still feel like I have a little unfinished business, a little chip on my shoulder,” Lemke said recently in an interview on “The Maine Event” podcast with Ryan Jarrell and Bryan Stackpole. “I definitely want to go out there and take care of business this time.”

Sanders (13-8) won a unanimous decision when the verdict went to the scorecards by virtue of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.

Like his opponent and former stablemate, Lemke (6-7) has carved out a reputation as a fighter who will take on all comers. The first bout with Sanders extended his winless streak to four fights, but the quality of opposition – Devin Powell, Josh LaBerge and Boyington preceded Sanders – are good for more than an asterisk.

He snapped that run in short order with a first-round TKO of Jesse “The Viking” Erickson in February’s tournament semifinals.

“I’m very excited, very grateful,” Lemke said. “This is the culmination of a lot of years, a lot of hard work, to be at this point again and see some of that pay off.”

Lemke doesn’t believe that he needs the title to validate his years under the NEF umbrella. On the flip side, however, it is a line on the personal checklist on which he is hungry to leave his mark.

“It would mean a lot,” he acknowledged.  “It wouldn’t define me either way, but at the same time certainly one of the goals I set out to achieve when I first started this sport was to take care of business on the regional end and to be a regional champion.”

Previous champions Powell, Boyington and Dez Green made the lightweight belt NEF’s most coveted honor by using it as a springboard to opportunities on a national scale.

Lemke, who has enjoyed the spotlight as part of both a Bellator card and Dana White’s “Lookin’ for a Fight” UFC audition, denied that he is looking ahead to greener pastures.

“I haven’t given it a lot of thought about where it would take me,” he said. “I just think about getting that belt and defending that belt. It’s always one fight at a time.”

Between their days training together with Team Irish (Sanders now fights out of Young’s MMA) and their previous fight, Lemke and Sanders know one another as well as any NEF title fight opponents in history.

While Lemke allows for the possibility that both men will dip into their bag of tricks, he said fans shouldn’t expect too many surprises.

“I think stylistically it will be a little bit different. Game plan wise it will be a little bit different. At the start you might see some different wrinkles from both,” Lemke said “But at the end of the day we are both familiar with each other, so it will be a similar type fight.”

He also sees the confrontation living up to every ounce of its billing.

“One of the statements from the first card was that I believe this fight could headline any card, any regional or national promotion, and I still believe that,” Lemke said. “It’s a fight the fans want to see.”

And it’s a fight he naturally believes he will win the second time around.

“I’m healthy as can be. Had a good, tough camp, and I’m looking forward to getting out there and performing my business,” Lemke said. “I believe in my overall skill set and believe that overall skill set will lead to the victory.”

The opening bell for “NEF 28: Invincible” on April 29 is set for 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and are available at or by calling the Colisee box office at 207.783.2009, extension 525.




Lightweight Co-Main Event:
Danny “The Realist” Ramirez vs. Chris “Taco” Padilla

John “Sexy Mexy” Castaneda vs. Chris Beal
Alyssa Garcia vs. Sheila Padilla
Heinrich Wassmer vs. Freddie Arteaga

Tickets for “Combate 14” on sale now
NEW YORK – April 25, 2017 – Combate Americas today announced a sensational, nine-bout Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight card that will take place at Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura, Calif., in celebration of the “Cinco De Mayo” holiday, on Friday, May 5.

In the lightweight (155 pounds) main event of “Combate 14,” undefeated, heavy-handed rising star Jose “Froggy” Estrada (3-0) will square off with Emilio “The Ferocious Aztec” Chavez (11-9).

Priced from $35, tickets for “Combate 14” are available online at

The 5-foot-6, 26-year-old Estrada from Fillmore, Calif. has been on a tear since he made his professional debut with Combate Americas last April, stopping all three of his opponents to date inside of one round.

Chavez of Fullerton, Calif. is a flashy, 5-foot-9, 30-year-old competitor who will make the second start of his career in La Jaula, the Combate Americas cage.  In his promotional debut on April 18, 2016, Chavez submitted Angel Cruz in the second round (4:21) of action with a rear-naked choke.

In the co-main event, which will also be contested at lightweight, Danny “The Realist” Ramirez (6-2) will return to action on the heels of a “Fight of the Night” performance in La Jaula, to battle Combate Americas newcomer and fellow knockout artist Chris “Taco” Padilla (7-2).

The 5-foot-9, 28-year-old Ramirez of North Hills, Calif. staged an incredible, relentless performance against Erick “Ghost Pepper” Gonzalez at “Combate 12” on February 16, earning a unanimous decision over Gonzalez in what was Ramirez’s second straight win.

Padilla of Gardena, Calif. has notched six of his seven professional career victories to date by way of (T)KO or submission.  Prior to making his professional debut in 2014, “Taco” amassed a perfect, 6-0 record under amateur status, with all of his wins coming by way of (T)KO or submission.

In other action at “Combate 14,” bantamweight (135 pounds) star John “Sexy Mexy” Castaneda (11-2) will face off with Chris “The Real Deal” Beal (10-4).

Castaneda of Mankato, Minn. is riding a seven-fight win streak that dates back to May 16, 2015 when he secured a first-round submission (rear-naked choke) win over Pedro Velasco.  The 5-foot-7, 25-year-old has been perfect in La Jaula, winning all five of his Combate Americas bouts.

The 5-foot-7, 31-year-old Beal of Ventura is an eight-year, battle-tested veteran of the sport who has competed on three different continents.  In his first start with Combate Americas, he will look to end a recent, four-fight skid.

Elsewhere on the card, Alyssa “Tiny Tim” Garcia (3-2) of Whittier, Calif. will face Sheila Padilla (2-1) of Visalia, Calif. in an atomweight (105 pounds) matchup.

Submission ace Heinrich Wassmer (5-1) of Los Angeles, Calif. will take on hard-nosed scrapper Freddie “Lil’ Man” Arteaga (8-5) of Boise, Idaho in a flyweight (125 pounds) contest.

Complete “Combate Americas: Combate 14” Fight Card

Lightweight Main Event:
Jose Estrada vs. Emilio Chavez

Lightweight Co-Main Event:
Danny Ramirez vs. Chris Padilla

Bantamweight:  John Castaneda vs. Chris Beal
Middleweight:  Joseph Vidales vs. Joseph Henle
Flyweight: Heinrich Wassmer vs. Freddie Arteaga
Flyweight: Michael Reyes vs. Benji Gomez
Atomweight:  Alyssa Garcia vs. Sheila Padilla
Catchweight (140 pounds):  Ryan Lilley vs. Ralph Acosta
Lightweight: Bruno Machado vs. Austin Wilson

# # #



Undefeated welterweights Daniel Rodriguez and Joel Champion face off

Unbeaten Alesha Zappitella faces Stephanie Alba
 in women’s atomweight matchup

Tickets for “Combate 13” on sale now
NEW YORK – April 6, 2017 – 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.

Priced from $20, tickets for “Combate 13” are on sale at the Casino Del Sol box office (1-855-765-7829).

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
# # #



Middleweight Co-Main Event:
Kobe “The Stunna” Ortiz vs. Eddie “Crazy Face” Arizmendi
Welterweight: Benny Madrid vs. Chad Dietmeyer

Bantamweight: Randy Steinke vs. Irwin Rivera

Tickets for “Combate13” on sale now

NEW YORK – April 3, 2017 – 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.

Priced from $20, tickets for “Combate13” are on sale at the Casino Del Sol box office (1-855-765-7829).

“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.

Celebrate five years of 559 Fights with us!

559 fights Goes Down April 21st In Fresno’s Tower Theatre

Friday, April 21st at 7pm

559 Fights returns to Fresno’s Tower Theatre with “559 Fights 55” on April 21, featuring a full slate of many of California’s hungriest and most exciting amateur MMA fighters.
The main event will feature top flyweight contender Samuel Fierro (6-2, Selma) as he tries to halt unbeaten 6-0 Sacramento fighter Mark Wirth’s tear through the state’s 125-pound rankings.

Prior to the highly anticipated headline bout, Daniel Campagna (3-1, Porterville) will hunt for his fourth win at the expense of Sacramento’s Josiah McHale (3-2) in bantamweight action.

In the flyweight division, Fresno’s Austin Liu (2-1) and Merced’s Michael Alonzo (2-1) will meet, with both fighters hungry to earn their third win.

Selma’s Bernabe Herrera (3-3) will enter the cage for the seventh time against Ridgecrest’s Emilio Horta (2-1) in the 155-pound division.

Tickets start at just $25 and are available at the Tower Theatre box office or online at For more information, please call 559-813-0307.

559 Fights 55

April 21 at Tower Theatre in Fresno, Calif.

125: Selma’s Samuel Fierro (6-2) vs. Sacramento’s Mark Wirth (6-0)
135: Porterville’s Daniel Campagna (3-1) vs. Sacramento’s Josiah McHale (3-2)
125: Fresno’s Austin Liu (2-1) vs. Merced’s Michael Alonzo (2-1)
155: Selma’s Bernabe Herrera (3-3) vs. Ridgecrest’s Emilio Horta (2-1)
265: Fresno’s Ryan Yates (1-0) vs. Oakland’s Dwight Maters (2-1)
185: Fresno’s James Porter (1-1) vs. Castro Valley’s Alan Benson (0-1)
205: Fresno’s Jesse Vazquez (0-0) vs. Ridgecrest’s Joseph Gaceta (1-1)
145: Visalia’s Chris Luna (0-0) vs. Santa Barbara’s Emmanuel Gonzalez (0-1)
170: Goleta’s Bryan Rodriguez (0-1) vs. Sacramento’s Tony Magalahaes (0-0)
145: Porterville’s Christian Marron (0-2) vs. Dos Palos’ Conan Orozco (0-1)
185: Los Angeles’ Bako Agambonisye (0-0) vs. Auburn.’s Zach Linco (0-0)
265: Reedley’s Ruben Castaneda Jr. (0-0) vs. Fresno’s Aniken Robinson (0-0)



Bantamweight Main event:
Marcelo “Pitbull” Rojo vs. Iván “El Brasil” Flores


José Alday replaces injured Joey Ruquet, will face Irving Hernández Cristi in a featherweight battle

Unbeaten Nate Diaz protégés Cristian Díaz and José Aguayo to make their respective debuts in La Jaula

NEW YORK – March 17, 2017 – Combate Americas today announced the completion of a stellar, 11-bout card for its debut in Tijuana, Mexico on Thursday, March 30, live on Azteca America in the U.S. at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m from the Auditorio Municipal.

TV Azteca will broadcast “Combate12” in Mexico on Friday at 11:00 p.m., and UFC Fight Pass® will distribute an English-language version of the event as a video on demand (VOD).

“Combate12” will be headlined by a bantamweight (135 pound) showdown between Argentinean Marcelo “Pitbull” Rojo (10-4) and Monterrey, Mexico native Iván “El Brasil” Flores (8-1-1).

Rojo, a veteran of season three of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, will look to make a statement in his first start in La Jaula, the Combate Americas cage, when he faces Flores, who will be on a mission to defend the honor of his house.

Rojo will fight for the first time in Mexico after an extensive career in South American arenas where he has become one of the most popular fighters in the region.
Flores, meanwhile, will look to rebound from a second round (3:11) submission (arm-triangle choke) defeat at the hands of Mark “The Bumblebee” Delarosa at “Combate10” in Mexico City, Mexico in January.

Another contestant from the third season of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, Costa Rican Walter Zamora (9-2), will face Monterrey native Alex “Gallito” Flores (8-1) in the “Combate12” co-main event; the Mexican fighter has one goal only, and that is to defend the honor of his country in the featherweight (145 pounds) bout.

In one of the most anticipated Combate Americas battles of 2017, Erick “The Ghost Pepper” González (5-2) of Los Angeles, California returns to action less than two months after his “Fight of the Night” performance against Danny “The Realist” Ramírez in the main event of “Combate11.”

Gonzalez will collide with Marco Antonio “La Roca” Elpidio (7-1) of Mexico City.  Elpidio was victorious by way of split decision over Rodrigo “Kazula” Vargas at “Combate10.”

After sustaining a broken nose in training, Joey “El Cazador” Ruquet of Las Vegas, Nev. has been replaced by Jose “El Pochito” Alday (9-2) of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

Alday, whose last start on October 15 against Mahatma Chit-Bala Garcia Avalos resulted in a draw, will square off with Irving “Moreno” Hernandez (4-2) of Tijuana.  Hernandez is a winner of his last three bouts, two by (T)KO.

In addition, two of UFC star Nate Diaz’s Stockton, Calif.-based, undefeated protégés, José Aguayo (2-0) and Christian Giovannie (1-0), will make their respective promotional debuts.

Aguayo will face Gilbert Santos (1-2) Ensenada, Mexico in a featherweight matchup, while Giovannie will fight Angel Gonzalez (0-0), also of Ensenada, in a bantamweight tilt.

Main Event
Marcelo Rojo (10-4) vs. Iván Hernández Flores (8-1-1)
Division: 135 lbs. (Bantamweight)

Co-Main Event
Walter Zamora (9-2) vs.  Alex “Gallito” Flores (8-1)
Division: 145 lbs. (Featherweight)

Marco Antonio Elpidio (7-1) vs. Erick González (5-2)
Division: 155 lbs. (Lightweight)

Christopher Ramírez (5-1) vs. Alex Velasco (6-1)
Division: 170 lbs. (Welterweight)

Pablo Sabori (6-3) vs. Levy Saúl Marroquín (7-1)
Division: 145 lbs. (Featherweight)

José Aguayo (2-0) vs. Gilbert Santos (1-2)
Division: 145 lbs. (Featherweight)

Ramón Lopez (1-2) vs. Marcos Bonilla (4-3)
Division: 155 lbs. (Lightweight)

José Alday (9-2) vs. Irving Hernández (4-2)
Division: 145 lbs. (Featherweight)

Pablo Olea (5-5) vs. Eduardo Varela Soto (2-1)
Division: 135 lbs. (Bantamweight)

Christian Giovannie (1-0) vs. Ángel González (0-0)
Division: 135 lbs. (Bantamweight)

Oscar Quintero (2-1) vs. Oscar Chairez (1-0)
Division: 125 lbs. (Flyweight)



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (March 16, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) presents its next mixed-martial-arts event “NEF 28: INVINCIBLE” on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.  Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition an amateur women’s bout to the card.  Alex Walker (2-1) will meet Katie Baker (0-0) at the strawweight limit of 115-pounds.


Walker and Baker were originally scheduled to face each other last month at “NEF 27.”  Unfortunately, a medical issue forced Walker to withdraw from the contest just days before the fight.  Now fully healed, Walker is back training regularly at the Kaze Dojo in Lancaster, New Hampshire in preparation for “NEF 28.”


“Injuries have plagued me and my team for the last two years, but I am healthy now, so watch out,” exclaimed Walker.  “I am going on a run and nothing will stop me!”


Losing her opponent so close to the event was definitely a disappointment for Baker and her many fans.  Training in the martial arts from an early age, the eighteen-year-old had waited years to compete in the MMA cage.  Baker is a member of Young’s MMA in Bangor, Maine.  She made her amateur boxing debut last year.


“I was really bummed when Alex withdrew from our fight,” said Baker.  “You make the sacrifices it takes to train and diet, not to mention the disappointment of those who purchased tickets. But I knew, and our fans knew, Alex is a warrior and would not back out unless something was wrong.  I’m looking forward to finally meeting her in the cage on April 29th.”


New England Fights returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 28: INVINCIBLE,” on Saturday, April 29, 2017.  Tickets are on sale now at the Colisee box office 207-783-2009 x 525 and online at

For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at  In addition, you can watch NEF videos at, follow the promotion on Twitter and Instagram @nefights, and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”

About New England Fights

New England Fights (“NEF”) is a fight events promotions company.  NEF’s mission is to create the highest quality events for Maine’s fighters and fans alike.  NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal, regulatory affairs and advertising.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (March 15, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) presents its next mixed-martial-arts event “NEF 28: INVINCIBLE” on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.  Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of a pair of amateur bouts to the card. Ken Dunn(0-4) is set to face Eddie DeRoche (0-1) in a catchweight bout and double amateur debut fighters Caleb Austin (0-0) of Rumford, Maine and James Ploss (0-0) from Kaze Dojo in Lancaster, NH are set to tangle in a feature flyweight bout.


Caleb Austin is a two-time Maine state wrestling champion and a member of the exclusive “200 Wins Club,” a rare feat in Maine wrestling. Austin recently completed his high school career with an overall record of 208-11. Caleb’s father, Eric Austin—also a former Maine state wrestling champion—is an undefeated veteran of the cage, having gone 2-0 in NEF back in 2012. Like his father, Caleb is preparing to put his wrestling on display for the NEF fans in his debut on April 29th.


“I’ve wrestled my entire life and grown-up around the NEF community,” stated Austin when reached for comment. “I’ve been waiting a long time to turn 18 to become eligible to compete in the sport of mixed martial arts like my father did. I’m excited to put my skills to the test, represent Rumford and put on a show in the NEF cage. I’m ready.”


Austin’s opponent, James Ploss, trains with Greg Williams at the well-known Kaze Dojo in Lancaster, New Hampshire. Several NEF veterans with names familiar to fans, including Allan Josselyn, Mike Bezanson and Alex Walker, hail from the Kaze Dojo. Ploss is committed to carrying on the tradition of strong debuts from the White Mountains gym and following through on a personal promise in the process.


“Fighting is real personal to me,” Ploss stated when reached for comment. “I promised the man that raised me that I would fight. He died shortly after that. I want to prove to him and myself that I can be successful in this sport. My goal is to inspire others to achieve.”


Eddie DeRoche wrestled alongside Austin for Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Maine. During his time there, DeRoche was a two-time state finalist. He made his NEF debut in June 2016 at “NEF 24: PROMISED LAND” in a losing effort against Skyler Bang. Reinvigorated at the opportunity to make up for his debut, DeRoche is committed to finding his first win in the NEF cage on April 29th at NEF 28.


“My first fight was a great learning experience,” stated DeRoche, when reached for comment. “I appreciated it for what it was and have made the necessary adjustments to make sure I come out on top when I step back into the NEF cage for the second time on April 29th.”


DeRoche’s opponent, Ken Dunn, is also looking for redemption at NEF 28. Dunn has made three prior trips to the NEF cage since debuting with the promotion back in 2015 and is hungry for his first win inside the NEF hexagon.


“I want to show NEF fans that I’m worthy of a rematch and title shot at Velado and that strap,” stated Dunn when reached for comment. “Eddie Deroche is a worthy adversary. I’m excited to compete against him. It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll—and I ain’t stopping until I get there.”

New England Fights returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 28: INVINCIBLE,” on Saturday, April 29, 2017.  Tickets are on sale now at the Colisee box office 207-783-2009 x 525 and online at

For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at  In addition, you can watch NEF videos at, follow the promotion on Twitter and Instagram @nefights, and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”

WMMAA Pan-American Division Welcomes new member Ecuador


MONTE CARLO, Monaco (March 14, 2017) – The Pan-American Division of the World MMA Championships (WMMAA) has formally announced the recent addition of Ecuador as its newest member.

“We continue to grow with every new country take forward the MMA movement as well as recognition of MMA as a sport,” said Tomas Yu, President of the WMMA Pan-American Division. “I have long been an advocate of MMA as a sport.  Watching this great group of pioneers put up a great fight that takes is back to the basics and to what Martial Arts truly represents:  loyalty, honor, and family.”
Yu appointed Gorky E. Rodriguez as President of WMMAA Ecuador.  Hector Molina, Director of the Regulatory Committee for the WMMAA Pan-American Division, will work closely with Rodriguez during the formation of the WMMAA Ecuador Regulatory Committee.
“MMA is in a critical time,” Rodriguez commented.  “It’s explosive growth this past decade has made MMA the fastest growing sport in the world, demanding that an organization like ours exist and to add unbiased structure, not only for athletes, but as a regulatory body as well.
“Much continues to happen since WMMAA Ecuador was formed.  We will all celebrate our first participation, as a national team, this year in the Pan-American Championships.  I look forward to using my experience and the volumes of knowledge the WMMAA Pan-American Division brings to Ecuador.  I will share the vision with all my efforts as we will defend, promote and endorse MMA as a sport and give all participants and fans a significant difference in the sport.”
Twitter:  @theWMMAA
Instagram: @worldmmaa