Combate Americas

When Scottsdale-based Roman “El Gallito” Salazar and Ricky “El Gallero” Palacios of Mission, Texas square up to fight next Thursday, April 20 they will do so before thousands of the most dedicated mixed martial arts (MMA) fans in the Southwest, and on TV sets across the continent. 

A clash between two 29-year-old bantamweight (135 pounds) fighters guaranteed to keep fans gripping the edge of their seats, Salazar (10-5-1NC) is hoping to develop a winning streak after a unanimous decision victory over Gilberto Aguilar last November at WFF 32. To notch a second consecutive win, ‘El Gallito’ must avoid the stopping power of Palacios’ (7-1), one of Combate Americas’ original fighters and the owner of five wins by knockout or technical knockout. ‘El Gallero’ most recently defeated Brandon Royval last May via unanimous decision at “Combate 7.”

The main event is just one in 10 fights at Casino Del Sol Resort’s AVA Amphitheater when Combate Americas comes to Tucson for the first time for “Combate 13.” The Combate Americas live event is promoted in conjunction with Arizona-based World Fighting Federation (WFF).

Combate Americas is the world’s first U.S.-Hispanic MMA franchise, and caters to some of the most dedicated and enthusiastic fight fans on the planet. World Fighting Federation, “The Fighters’ League,” pits some of the Southwest’s most promising MMA athletes against one another. “Combate 13” will mark the first time the two promotions have worked with one another. The event, which kicks off at 6 p.m. local time, will be accessible live via ESPN Latin America and through UFC Fight Pass, and will air on TV Azteca in Mexico on Friday, April 21, at 11 p.m. CT.

“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, in a release.

Fighting in the welterweight (170 pounds) division, Phoenix-based Benny “El Hijo” Madrid and Tucson’s own Chad Dietmeyer are set to face off after a cancelled bout at “WFF 29” kept the two fighters separated last July. With a knack for avoiding the judge’s score cards, Madrid (9-3) will look to pick up his third consecutive victory with a win over Dietmeyer (8-1), who has not competed since March 30, 2012 when he fell via unanimous decision to Antonio McKee.

Also of note within the welterweight division is a match between undefeated prospects Daniel Rodriguez (3-0) and Joel Champion (4-0). Within the women’s atomweight (105 pounds) division, Alesha “Half Pint” Zappitella (2-0) and Stephanie “The Cyclone” Alba (3-1) are scheduled to meet.

“Since its inception, the driving focus of World Fighting Federation has been fighter and career development,” said Thom Ortiz, WFF co-founder. “While we do a great job giving these young men and women an opportunity to earn their own spotlight within this sport, I feel truly blessed to work with Combate Americas to give these fighters a chance at even greater glory within La Jaula.”

Tickets for “Combate 13” start at $20, and are available through the Casino del Sol box office by calling 1-855-765-7829.

Fight Card (subject to change)

Main Event: Roman Salazar vs. Ricky Palacios; Bantamweight (125 pounds)

Irwin Rivera vs. Kevin Natividad; Bantamweight (125 pounds)

Benny Madrid vs. Chad Dietmeyer; Welterweight (170 pounds)

Daniel Rodriguez vs. Joel Champion; Welterweight (170 pounds)

Alesha Zappitella vs. Stephanie Alba; Women’s Atomweight (105 pounds)

Erick Sanchez vs. Randy Steinke; Featherweight (145 pounds)

Victor Reyna vs. Andy Perez; Welterweight (170 pounds)

Justin Rascon vs. Jose, Palencia, Jr.; Flyweight (125 pounds)

Arturo Guzman vs. Robert Caspar; Flyweight (125 pounds)

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