Reina is Spanish for queen. Queens are raised in a life of privilege and luxury, which is not the upbringing for most women who are professional mixed martial artists. Even women like Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate who are considered WMMA “royalty” had some tremendous hardships in their upbringing and in their professional careers. Queens are usually bestowed with their crowns, but nothing is given in prizefighting.
On April 26th, Combate Americas, a rapidly growing MMA promotion will hold one of its biggest cards to date, and Campbell McLaren and co. have put together a unique card that is equal parts action fight, contender matchups, and potentially star-making showcases.
Headlining the card is undefeated Mexican prospect Melissa “Super Mely” Martinez and Chilean promotional newcomer Caroline “Taz” Gallardo. The two up-and-comers are of similar age, record and size but Martinez has yet to taste defeat and Gallardo lost her first two professional bouts. “Taz” has righted her losing record and gone on to avenge one of her losses, rattling three straight victories in the process.
Martinez, the Capitalina (Mexico D.F. born and raised woman) has basically been raised in the Combate Americas’ Jaula (cage). Only her pro debut was outside of the promotion. In her brief two year Combate stint “Super Mely” has become a promotional favorite. The southpaw is agile and powerful, especially with her left kick. Martinez has thus far shown an ability to hurt any woman who has stood across the cage from her but Gallardo does have a submission win on her record and the ground game is an aspect of Mely’s skill set that has not been fully tested.
A win for Martinez can possibly make her the biggest star in the promotion. A win for Gallardo would not just be an upset but a chance to be the Chilean star in the Latin American focused promotion.
In the co-main event Kyra “Mogwai” Batara will face Francis “Hitgirl” Hernandez in a strawweight contender fight. Hernandez is stepping in on late notice to replace Angela Magaña after she pulled out due to an emergency surgery that saw her go into a brief coma. Hernandez was preparing for a fight on the undercard but was promoted to the co-headliner with the Magaña dropout.
Batara is a formidable competitor with a solid grappling base. “Hitgirl” has shown that she is a respectable striker but the late notice could work against her. On the other hand, Batara is coming off a lengthy layoff. Although her last win against Paulina Granados was possibly her most impressive to date, it’s been almost a year and a half since she fought.
The circumstances leading to the fight with both women may be a wash, but it is certain that they will fight to the best of their ability because Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren has confirmed that the winner of the main and co-main events will face one another for the inaugural strawweight title later on this year.
Other notable fighters on the card include Paulina Granados, Erick Gonzalez and Jose “Froggy” Estrada. The entire ten fight card can be found below. It will air live on Friday April 26th, 2019 at 7:00 pm Pacfic Standard Time on DAZN and stay tuned to MMA Wreckage for more Combate: Reinas coverage.
STRAWWEIGHT MAIN EVENT:
Melissa Martinez vs. Caroline Gallardo
FEATURED AND PRELIMINARY BOUTS:
Strawweight: Kyra Batara vs. Francis Hernandez
Atomweight: Paulina Granados vs. Gloria Bravo
Flyweight: Yasmine Jauregui vs. Daniela Espinosa
Lightweight: Erick Gonzalez vs. Won Sik Park
Featherweight: Jose Estrada vs. Adrian Guzman
Flyweight: Oscar Suarez vs. Mikey Reyes
Featherweight: Jesse Strader vs. Michael Jackson
Catchweight (120 lbs.): Destiny Vazquez vs. Sidney Trillo
Bantamweight: Nancy Nava vs. Lucero Acosta.