With Combate Americas “Copa Combate” Tournament fast approaching, John Sexy Mexy Castaneda (14-2) is up for the challenge and ready to represent his country.
Combate Americas all-time winningest fighter, Castaneda will enter the historic one-night, eight-man bantamweight mixed martial arts tournament on Nov. 11 live from Cancun, Mexico. The tournament will air live on Telemundo and NBC Sports Network with the winner taking home $100,000.
Castaneda joined The Roman Show to discuss participating in the tournament.
“It’s humbling to represent a country and going up against other guys representing their countries,” he said. “It’s a cool feeling. I’ve never been part of a tournament. My training regiment doesn’t change much. I am experienced. I’ve had 32 fights both in amateur and pro.
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“I’ve noticed if you have a fight and the fight is over, you need about 10 to 15 minutes to recover to get your wind back. All the injuries play off after the adrenaline wears off.”
Castaneda was part of Dana White’s Contender Series.
He said the money is nice, but that’s not the motivation.
“A hundred grand is a lot of money, but I am not doing it for the money,” he said. “I’ll fight for peanuts. I love this sport. I love waking up, going to practice. This is my passion. If I win, I’ll payoff my student loans and be debt free.
“I have two siblings. I have a brother and a sister. My sister is graduating school. I would love to pay off her student loans, and the rest I’ll give to my mom so she can pay off my little brother’s student loans.”
Hear more from Castaneda who talks about his experience at Dana White’s Contender Series and more.
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The Roman Show
Freelance Writer/TV Producer/Reporter
Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren is universally recognized as the co-founder/co-creator of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Combate Americas LLC., the first U.S. Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts sports franchise in history, is designed to build Latino fighting champions and serve Hispanic fans
ABOUT COPA COMBATE MMA
Combate Americas and Telemundo Deportes announced at a news conference in October in the Wynwood district of Miami, a landmark partnership to produce the first Telemundo broadcast of a live mixed martial arts event.
COPA COMBATE is a one-night, eight-man tournament, with the winner persevering through three bouts to take home $100,000.
The event will occur on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 11:30 p.m. ET/ 8:30 p.m. PT live from Cancun, Mexico. WWE alum Alberto Del Rio, who was in Miami for the press conference, is from Mexico and also a Combate Americas television announcer.
The historic, 90-minute live broadcast on Telemundo will coincide with the 24th anniversary of the now legendary UFC 1, which was executive produced by Ultimate Fighting Championship co-founder and Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren, and which was also headlined by a one-night, eight-man tournament.
COPA COMBATE will assemble a collection of the most fearsome stars in MMA’s bantamweight (135 pounds) division, hailing from the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, and Peru, and will see them battle in La Jaula, the Combate Americas competition cage, over the course of three tournament stages – quarterfinal, semifinal and championship – before the eventual winner is crowned.
The event marks the first time in history that fighters will represent their respective countries on a quest to win the inaugural ‘Copa.’
Joining John “Sexy Mexy” Castaneda (14-2) of Mankato, Minn. in the tournament field will be the highest ranked bantamweight fighters in their respective countries:
Marcelo “Pitbull” Rojo (12-4) of Cordoba, Argentina
Carlos “Lobo” Rivera (10-2) of Mexico City, Mexico
Mikey “El Terrible” Erosa (12-5) of San Juan, Puerto Rico
Marc “Lufo” Gomez (20-10) of Barcelona, Spain
Andres “Doble A” Ayala (11-4) of Bogota, Colombia
Kevin “El Frio” Moreyra (4-1) of Lima, Peru
Filling the eighth spot in the tournament field will be wild card entry, Ricky “El Gallero” Palacios (9-1) of Mission, Texas.
Palacios, a 30-year- old knockout artist, is riding a six-fight win streak, and is tied with Castaneda for the most wins – six – held under the Combate Americas promotional umbrella. In his last two starts, Palacios earned decisions over UFC veterans Roman Salazar and Chris Avila, respectively.
The eight competitors will be separated into four tournament brackets, with the top four fighters given seeded positions based on their worldwide rankings.
Quarterfinal stage opponents for the four fighters will be determined based on a lottery ball drawing that will occur on a date to be announced.
Telemundo’s live broadcast of COPA COMBATE will feature the tournament’s semifinal stage consisting of two bouts that pit the winners of the quarterfinal stage bouts in each tournament bracket against one another. The entire quarterfinal stage of the tournament will stream live on the Telemundo Deportes En Vivo app and TelemundoDeportes.com.
Also, women’s MMA action will be featured as Gloria Gloriosa Bravo (4-2) battles Melissa Super Melly Martinez (2-0) in the co-main event of the live Telemundo broadcast.
Telemundo Deportes, one of the leading providers of sports content in Spanish in the United States, is home to two of the world’s most popular sporting events: the FIFA World Cup through 2026 and the Summer Olympic Games through 2032. In addition, Telemundo Deportes broadcasts the FIFA World Cup CONCACAF qualifying matches for most of the region, including the Mexico and USA national teams’ away matches and the Premier League.
Telemundo Deportes is also home to “Boxeo Telemundo Ford,” the #1 boxing program in Spanish, and “Titulares y Más,” the #1 sports news, entertainment and commentary show in Spanish, among other recognized sports properties.
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