“COPA COMBATE” Fight Card and Tournament Brackets Set For Friday

NEW YORK: Combate Americas, the world’s premier Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports and media franchise, today announced the tournament brackets and quarterfinal stage matchups for the 2019 “COPA COMBATE” extravaganza, presented by Cricket Wireless, and headlined by the one-night, eight-man, $100,000 grand prize lightweight (155 pounds) tournament at Coliseo Manuel Bonilla in Lima, Peru on Friday, Dec. 20.

The annual, year-end extravaganza airs live on television in Spanish in the U.S. on Univision (12 a.m. ET/11 p.m. CT) and TUDN USA (12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT), and in English in the U.S. and Canada on DAZN (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT), and marks the first time since the 2017 launch of “COPA COMBATE” that the tournament event will take place in South America.

The winner of the eight-man tournament, which features competitors from seven different countries, will have fought three times in one night to earn the $100,000 grand prize, and become the number one contender and next challenger to reigning, undefeated Combate Americas world champion Rafa “Gifted” Garcia (11-0).

On one side of the tournament draw, Humberto Bandenay (15-7, 1 NC) will face Hugo “Hache” Prada (8-3), and Jose “Dos Lobos” Luis Verdugo (10-8) will battle undefeated Lucas “Lubera” Corbage (10-0).

The winner of the bout between Bandenay of Lima and Prada of Bogota, Colombia will face the winner of the bout between Verdugo of Tijuana, B.C., Mexico and Corbage of Buenos Aires, Argentina via Guaratinguetá, São Paulo, Brazil  in the semifinal stage of the tournament.

On the other side of the tournament draw, Yoel “El Gitano” Jimenez (5-3) will collide with former world championship challenger Erick “Ghost Pepper” Gonzalez (10-4); and Kevin “El Polaco” Koldobsky (9-6), who was announced today as a replacement for Esteban “El Gringo” Ribovics (7-0), will square off with wildcard entrant and recent Combate Americas main event fight winner, Salvador Becerra (8-2).

The winner of the matchup between Jimenez of Pallaresos via Tarragona, Spain and Gonzalez of Redondo Beach, Calif., USA will face the winner of Koldobsky of Buenos Aires and Becerra of Modesto, Calif. in the semifinal stage of action.

The winners of the two semifinal stage fights will face off with each other in the championship stage of the tournament for the $100,000 grand prize.

Each quarterfinal stage bout will consist of one, five-minute round.  Each semifinal stage bout and the championship stage bout will consist of three, three-minute rounds.

Also announced today were a pair of featured “Superfights” for the card.  In a featherweight (145 pounds) affair, Renzo “El Nene” Mendez (13-6) of Lima will do battle with Juan “El Molo” Pablo Gonzalez (7-3-2) of Buenos Aires.

In a women’s strawweight (115 pounds) tilt, Sandra Lavado (7-2) of Lima will meet Lina Franco Rodriguez (4-2) of Bogota.

In the lone tournament alternate bout, Ignacio “Nacho” Bahamondes (9-3) of Santiago, Chile will face off with Milko “Tatu” Tucto (4-1) of Lima.

In the event that one of the quarterfinal stage fight winners is unable to return to La Jaula, the Combate Americas competition cage, for the semifinal stage bout due to injury, the winner of the tournament alternate bout will replace the injured tournament fighter in the semifinal stage of action.


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