Wrestling & MMA

Combate Americas CEO talks historic women’s MMA show, Ronda Rousey, Sexy Star and more

Photo Courtesy Combate Americas

Combate Americas CEO and founder Campbell McLaren knows something about starting MMA companies.

Just look at his resume.

He is the co-founder of UFC, formed in 1993 with Rorion Gracie of the famous Gracie family. Now he leads Combate Americas.

Founded in 2011, Combate Americas is the first Hispanic mixed martial arts sports franchise and media company.

McLaren is also an award-winning television producer and TV executive.

Originally from Scotland, he grew up in Philadelphia and Indianapolis. He earned a degree at the University of California-Berkeley and studied video production at MIT. He will turn 63 on June 18.

That celebration already started as Combate Americas made history on April 26, 2019, with the first all-women’s MMA show broadcast live on national television.

McLaren discusses that women’s MMA show, women in MMA, Gloria Bravo, Zoila Frausto, Ronda Rousey and more.

Actress, entrepreneur, philanthropist, producer Kate del Castillo, who helped grow that innovative show, recently joined Combate Americas as an owner.

McLaren talks making history, women’s MMA, Kate del Castillo, Super Mely and more.

Combate Americas has some pro wrestling influence, too. WWE alum Alberto del Rio is a brand ambassador for the company, and pro wrestler and boxer Sexy Star Dulce Garcia is a new MMA fighter on the roster.

McLaren talks plans for Combate Americas, UFC on ESPN, Ronda Rousey in WWE, Sexy Star in MMA and more.

The Combate Americas franchise includes live event and original shoulder programming on some of the biggest television, OTT and digital platforms in Spanish and English, including Univision and Univision Deportes Network (UDN), DAZN, ESPN, GOL and Facebook Watch worldwide. The company also owns and operates a multi-platform media studio, La Jaula Studios.

Visit https://www.combateamericas.com/.


Combate Americas recently announced another ratings home run with its historic “Cricket Wireless Presents Combate Americas: Reinas” extravaganza – the first all-women’s MMA fight lineup to be broadcast live on network television - that scored more than 500,000 viewers on Univision in its midnight ET time slot.

“Our television ratings for ‘Reinas’ proved to be a huge victory for women’s MMA and for Combate Americas, and demonstrate that we’ve become appointment television, especially among the most desirable demos,” said McLaren.

The event was the second highest rated among all households as well as among adults 18-49 since Combate Americas began airing its live shows on the Univision broadcast television platform in April 2018.

Viewership among adults 18-49 shot up by a margin of 28 percent from the previous Combate Americas event - ‘Combate Estrellas’ on April 12 – while the total number of P2+ viewers increased by nearly 10 percent versus the prior event.

The live event also topped the viewership of both UFC programming on ESPN2 by nearly double the number of P2+ viewers on the same night, and SHOWTIME’s boxing program, which peaked at 312,000 viewer on Saturday, April 27.

“Reinas” was the highest-rated show to air at midnight on Univision for the week of April 22-28.

In the main event, Melissa “Super Mely” Martinez (6-0) of Mexico City, Mexico extended her perfect record with a second round (:50) TKO (knee strike and punches) of Caroline “Taz” Gallardo of Chicago via Santiago, Chile.


Combate Americas returns to AVA Amphitheater at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Ariz., presented by Cricket Wireless, on Friday, June 7, live on television in Spanish in the United States on Univision (12 a.m. ET/PT) and UDN (12 a.m. ET/9 p.m.PT), and in English in the United States and Canada on DAZN (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).

“Cricket Wireless Presents Combate Americas: Tucson Unbreakable” MMA, featuring bantamweights (135 pounds) in the main event with former world champion Jose “Pochito” Alday (12-4-1) of Tucson and Juan Pablo “El Molo” Gonzalez (7-2-2) of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Lightweights (155 pounds) in the co-main event with the return of undefeated phenom Rafa “Gifted” Garcia (9-0) of Palm Springs, Calif. via Mexicali, B.C., Mexico, against the most seasoned opponent of his career in Estevan “El Terrible” Payan (17-12, 1 NC) of Tempe, Ariz.

Also, a women’s strawweight bout between two up-and-coming fighters as Yazmin Jauregui (1-0) of Tijuana Baja California, Mexico battles Codie Wareham (2-0) of Fairbanks, Alaska.

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Jim Varsallone covers pro wrestling, something he’s done since his college days in the late 1980s. Spanning four decades, he currently covers WWE (Raw, SmackDown and NXT), Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, Lucha Underground, MLW, WOW, FSCW, AEW and the South Florida indies. He also writes MMA -- mostly profile stories and video interviews with American Top Team talent in South Florida. As for pro wrestling, he writes feature stories and profile pieces, updates upcoming show schedules in South Florida, photographs the action and interviews talent (audio and video) -- sharing the content here and via social media on his Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel: jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel).
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