Exclusive: Combate Global to crown a new lightweight champ in one-night tournament

Credit: Combate Global

The COVID-19 pandemic forced Combate Global, formerly Combate Americas, to the mixed martial arts sidelines for over a year. Now, with two events in the bag since their reemergence, the promotion will revisit a format that’s a yearly staple of their “mucho mas accion” content. The one-night tournament.

MixedMartialArts.com has learned that on April 23, from the Univision Studios in Miami, Florida, Combate Global will determine a new North American lightweight champion with a four-man, one-night tourney. The event will air live in the US on Univision and TUDN at 12:30 am ET/9:30 pm PT.

Drinking from the copa of tradition

A single event tournament is an old-school MMA tradition the promotion has continued with pride. Their Copa Combate tourney has become one of the organization’s biggest year-end showcases. Yet, while tournaments of the past gave winners big cash prizes and a massive trophy, this singular tournament will be all about winning championship gold. As Combate Global CEO Campbell McLaren puts it, the promotion saw no better way of deciding a new champion than by making fighters “earn” it in classic Combate fashion.

“One night tournaments have become a part of Combate’s DNA, and we couldn’t think of a better way of crowning a new lightweight champion than making the champ earn the title by beating two opponents in one night,” McLaren said in a press release sent first to MixedMartialArts.com.

The Combate Global 155-pound title is currently vacant after defending champion Rafa Garcia joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship roster last month. The tournament to decide the new king of the division will feature fighters from the United States, Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

The bracket breakdown

In one semifinal matchup, Team Alpha Male product Anthony Avila will look to add to his five-fight winning streak against Mexican newcomer Alejandro Sanchez. On the other side of the bracket, Legacy Fighting Alliance and Bellator veteran Tommy Aaron will face off with Cuban talent and Titan FC alum Luis Gomez. The card will also include an “alternates bout,” should one of the finalists be unable to compete. That fight will feature Latin American prospects Cristian Perez and Geraldo Almonte.

The promotion, which began in 2013, rebranded last month as a show of its intent to move away from mostly featuring US and Latin American talent, to including more athletes from around the globe. Along with the new moniker, the promotion also secured a new five-year broadcast deal with powerhouse Spanish language television network Univision, to air their events in the US. The agreement calls for 30 events per year for the duration of the partnership.

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