Combate Americas announced its return to Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. on Friday, Feb. 22 with a star-studded Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) affair headlined by a classic Mexico vs. USA showdown between prolific strikers Pablo “El Gallo Negro” Sabori (9-5) and Anthony “The Shark” Avila (17-5), live on DAZN (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) in English in the U.S. and Canada.
Sabori of San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mex., and Avila, a native of Lemoore, Calif., USA, will collide at a catchweight of 150 pounds.
Priced from $25, tickets for the Combate Americas event go on sale tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 18 at CombateAmericas.com/Fresno and Ticketmaster.com, as well as at the Save Mart Center box office.
“We are back Fresno, but this time we don’t have eight countries fighting for the Copa. We have two – Mexico and the U.S – Sabori and Avila – and that’s all we need,” said Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren.
The 26-year-old Sabori is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Michael Irizarry of San Juan, Puerto Rico in a “COPA COMBATE” tournament alternate bout at Save Mart Center on December 7.
Prior to the win, Sabori, a known pressure fighter, had notched all of his career victories by way of (T)KO, with five of them coming inside of one round.
The 30-year-old Avila, fighting out of retired MMA superstar Urijah Faber’s Team Alpha Male camp in Sacramento, Calif., will seek his fifth consecutive victory following a second round TKO of Marcello Cassero last November 9.
Also announced today was a women’s flyweight (125 pounds) contest between former world champion Zoila “The Warrior Princess” Frausto (13-5), and fellow battle-tested veteran Jaimee “Queenie” Nievera (7-4).
Frausto of Madera, Calif. will make her much-anticipated return to action after a three-year hiatus from MMA rules competition that last saw her defeat Corina Herrera by way of unanimous decision on February 18, 2016.
Frausto, the first Bellator women’s world champion in history, is also a seasoned Muay Thai fighter and kickboxer who boasts a perfect, 4-0 record in the GLORY kickboxing ring.
Fighting out of San Francisco, Calif., Nievera defeated Frausto’s sister, Stephanie Frausto, by way of third round (2:43) TKO (punches and elbow strikes) on May 14, 2016.
Nievera has claimed four of her seven career wins to date via submission, and will look to bounce back from a second round (3:22) TKO (knee strikes) defeat at the hands of Antonina Shevchenko last June 26.
In preliminary bout action announced today, Combate Americas star and Joe “Stitch ‘Em Up” Schilling protégé Daniel “D-Rod” Rodriguez (7-1) of Alhambra, Calif. will make his second start in the newly established super lightweight (165 pounds) division against hard-hitting Evan “Pitbull” Solorio (4-2) of Fresno.
Also returning to La Jaula, the Combate Americas cage, will be Sheila Padilla (3-2) of Visalia, Calif. Padilla will take on undefeated submission ace Charisa Sigala (4-0) of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
In bantamweight (135 pounds) action, unbeaten Hector “El Matador” Fajardo (1-0) of Sacramento will meet Jose Avalos (3-1) of Parlier, Calif.
Emilio Horta (1-1) of Ridgecrest, Calif. will face off with Steven Bollinger (0-0) of Clovis, Calif. at featherweight (145 pounds).
Additional preliminary card bouts will be announced soon.
Doors at Save Mart Center will open for “Combate Americas: Mexico vs. USA” at 6 p.m. local time, and the first preliminary bout will begin at 7 p.m.
Combate Americas’ return to Fresno takes place just over two months after the premier media and sports franchise brought its biggest event of the year – the one-night, eight-man, $100,000 grand prize “COPA COMBATE” featherweight (145 pounds) tournament – to Save Mart Center.
Despite its midnight ET start time, the 2018 “COPA COMBATE” event garnered over 4.3 million live television viewers across the U.S. (Univision and UDN) and Mexico (Azteca 7). An additional 1.5 million viewers tuned into the live Facebook Watch stream of the “COPA COMBATE” preliminary bout card.
COMBATE AMERICAS “MEXICO VS. USA” FIGHT CARD
CATCHWEIGHT (150 POUNDS) MAIN EVENT:
Pablo Sabori vs. Anthony Avila
FLYWEIGHT CO-MAIN EVENT:
Zoila Frausto vs. Jaimee Nievera
PRELIMINARY BOUT CARD:
Super Lightweight: Daniel Rodriguez vs. Evan Solorio
Strawweight: Sheila Padilla vs. Charisa Sigala
Bantamweight: Hector Fajardo vs. Jose Avalos
Featherweight: Emilio Horta vs. Steven Bollinger