Combate Americas announced that former world championship challenger Gustavo Lopez (8-3) will challenge Jose “Pochito” Alday (11-3-1) in the premier Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports franchise’s bantamweight (135 pounds) world championship main event in Phoenix on Friday night.
Alday’s original world championship opponent, Levy Marroquin (11-2) of Monterrey, Mexico, was forced to withdraw from the commitment due to symptoms of influenza detected by the Arizona Boxing Commission physician, Dr. Ken Ota.
The much-anticipated, world championship event’s three-fight main card airs live on television in Spanish in the U.S. on both Univision (12 a.m. ET/PT) and Univision Deportes Network (UDN) (12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT)
The complete, nine-bout fight card airs in its entirety on DAZN, the live and on-demand sports streaming platform, in English in the U.S. and Canada, beginning with the first preliminary card bout, at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
The 29-year-old Lopez of Las Vegas, Nev. via Yakima, Wash. is a five-time Combate Americas veteran who, in his last start under the promotional banner, notched an impressive, first-round (2:34) submission (guillotine choke) of Steve Swanson, the brother of MMA superstar Cub Swanson, in the main event of Combate Americas’ debut event in Mexico City, Mexico.
A member of MMA legend Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture fight camp in Las Vegas, Lopez has produced all of his victories in La Jaula, the Combate Americas cage, by way of (T)KO or submission.
Lopez previously challenged fellow star John “Sexi Mexi” Castaneda for the vacant Combate Americas world bantamweight championship on October 14, 2016, but was stopped via fourth round (2:24) TKO (punches) by Castaneda in an epic, see-saw battle. Because Castaneda failed to make weight for the fight, he was not awarded the title.
Alday, who will celebrate his 27th birthday tomorrow, is a native of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico and resident of Tucson, Ariz., coming off his career-best victory to date, a split decision win over Castaneda in the main event of the historic, first, live Univision and UDN simulcast of MMA action with “Combate Estrellas I” in Los Angeles, Calif. on April 13.