It’s mixed martial arts with a distinct cultural nuance. It’s combat sports, funneled through the idiosyncratic lens of Latino entertainment television. It’s Combate Americas, and starting April 18, the nascent MMA promotion is going live on NBC Universo for its ‘30 Fights in 30 Days’ campaign.
Launched in 2014, Combate Americas was founded by Campbell McLaren, a co-creator of the UFC, on the specific principle of discovering and fostering young and promising mixed martial artists from the Spanish-speaking Americas. Two years later, after several starts, re-starts, and network regime changes, the fledgling promotion is kicking off its 2016 calendar with a Monday-night fight series that runs through May 9.
“Combate is MMA with a Spanish flavor ... we’ve always said we’re presenting a thoroughly authentic Hispanic product, and we stuck to that,” explains McLaren. “I think there’s just not a general regard for Hispanic fighters in MMA ... they shouldn’t have any trouble entering into the mainstream MMA business, but yet they seem to.”
One of those fighters is Erick Sanchez, who will headline Combate America’s April 18 event at Exchange LA, a nightclub in downtown Los Angeles. The fight card will air live on both NBC Universo, in Spanish, and on the UFC’s Fight Pass streaming service, in English.