HIDALGO — When a Mixed Martial Arts organization puts together a Pay-Per-View event, the goal is to start the night off with a bang and keep the good fights and finishes coming.
Combate Americas delivered precisely that in the promotion’s first Pay-Per-View show Saturday at Payne Arena in Hidalgo as the 10-bout fight card headlined by Tito Ortiz and Alberto El Patrón featured six first-round finishes.
After a couple of Rio Grande Valley products opened the card with statement-making victories, Ortiz closed the show by dominating El Patrón on the ground for a first-round submission victory by way of rear-naked choke, improving “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy”’s career record to 21-12-1.
“Alberto Del Rio pushed me. I worked hard for this, I trained 19 weeks for this fight,” Ortiz said in “La Jaula” — or “the cage” — after his win.
El Patrón was escorted to “La Jaula” by Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero Jr., but none of it mattered once the cage door shut behind him and Ortiz. Alberto, who came out of retirement for this fight, is retired once again.
Kicking off the card, literally and figuratively, was Weslaco’s Elias Urbina. Urbina immediately took control of the fight with his length and vicious kicks to Mike Tovar’s body, legs, and finally his head. A devastating head kick sent Tovar tumbling to the canvas and Urbina jumped on the opening and landed a few punches before the referee had seen enough after only three minutes.
“My coach wanted me to keep distance, and I know he’s a boxer so I didn’t want to get in too much of a punching battle with him, just staying patient and looking for an opening. I found a couple of openings and I took advantage of them,” he said.
Urbina has now won two straight fights, both in the RGV under the Combate Americas banner.
“It feels good to be in the 956. I love my fans, I love my people, they’re rowdy, they’re loud, it’s just what I need for a fight,” Urbina said.
Mission’s Luke Flores, the second fight of the night, followed that up with a first-round finish of his own as his superiority on the ground was clear as day. Flores, whose original opponent pulled out of the fight only seven days ago, adjusted to the change and made quick work of Houston’s Clarence Brown by sinking in a rear-naked choke in three minutes and 16 seconds.
“The thing about this game is that we train very hard and we don’t always make it out of practice at 100%. It’s very difficult, but it’s what we do it for, we live for it, and it’s a fulfilling moment after that win,” Flores said. “I had an opponent who was 13-1 on a seven-fight win streak, but seven days ago, he pulled out. I took this short notice fight against Clarence Brown, and thank you to him for making me execute my hard work that I put in. Props to him for stepping up on seven days notice. I’m happy with the outcome, but I could have done 100% better.”
Victor “The Brick” Martinez added another RGV victory as the lightweight fighter from Pharr knocked out Luis Luna with four straight right hands to the head and a left as the cherry on top before the referee stepped in to call it after just 3:21. Martinez has now won six-straight fights as his professional record jumps to 12-4.
In Combate Americas’ first ever Women’s World Title fight, Melissa “Super Mely” Martinez outworked Desiree “Dirty Dez” Yanez on the feet to win a majority decision, 27-29, 29-28, 29-28. Martinez remains perfect in her professional MMA career at 7-0 to become Combate Americas’ first women’s strawweight champion, while Yanez drops to 5-2 overall.
Alton’s Edmilson “Amazonian Warrior” Freitas and Harlingen’s Raymond “Executioner” fought to a majority draw after the referee took one point away from Freitas due to blows to the back of Banda’s head.