Combate Americas, the first-ever U.S. Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports franchise founded by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) co-creator Campbell McLaren, today announced that it will make its debut in Los Angeles, Calif. with a stellar, nine-bout fight card at Florentine Gardens, live on NBC UNIVERSO, the modern entertainment and sports cable channel for Latinos, on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.

“This event represents Combate Americas coming of age, and presenting a lineup that is second to none with a collection of the brightest up-and-coming Hispanic fighters in the U.S.,” said McLaren.

Priced from $40, tickets for “Premier Insurance Services and Aspira Mas Present Combate Americas: Road To The Championship Hollywood,” are on sale at

In the bantamweight (135 pounds) main event of the live, four-fight telecast on NBC UNIVERSO, John “Sexy Mexy” Castaneda, fresh off his victory at the inaugural “Combate Americas: Road To The Championship” event in Las Vegas, Nev. on September 17, will square off with fellow striking sensation Federico “Kiko” Lopez.

The 23-year-old Castaneda (8-2), a seasoned striker who hails from Mankato, Minn., earned his third consecutive victory in the form of a unanimous decision over Justin Governale in the Combate Americas cage.

A 31-year-old member of Team Quest, Lopez (10-5) of Murrieta, Calif. is riding a five fight win streak, with four of those victories having come by way of either (T)KO or submission.

In the bantamweight co-main event, Combate Americas reality television series star and power puncher Ricky “El Gallero” Palacioswill square off with dangerous scrapper Anthony Paredes of Murrieta.

Palacios (5-1), a 28-year-old resident of Mission, Texas who also boasts an unblemished professional boxing record of 2-0-1, scored a thunderous, first round (1:00) KO on Benji Gomez with a head kick at the “Combate Americas: Road To The Championship” event onSeptember 17, while the 26-year-old Paredes, another member of Team Quest, is looking to return to the win column after suffering a loss in July that snapped a two-fight win streak.

In a featured women’s atomweight (105 pounds) attraction on the live telecast, Kyra “Mogwai” Batara will collide with “Lightning” Liz McCarthy.

Fighting out of Las Vegas, Batara (3-3) is a 21-year-old protege of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu guru Eddie Bravo.  During the “Combate Americas: Road To The Championship” event in Las Vegas, Batara pulled off a stunning upset win via unanimous decision over Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc, a former world championship challenger with five times as many professional bouts as Batara.

The 29-year-old McCarthy (2-3), also fighting out of Las Vegas, is a four-time veteran of Invicta FC, the world’s premier all-women’s MMA league.   Prior to her professional debut at Invicta FC 2 where she defeated Jessica Philippus by way of first round (5:00) TKO (doctor stoppage) on July 28, 2012, McCarthy amassed a perfect, 6-0 record as an amateur.

The live NBC UNIVERSO telecast will kick off with a featherweight (145 pounds) matchup between Urijah Faber protege and prolific finisher Erick Sanchez (5-2) of Sacramento, Calif. and fellow rising star “Ruthless” Rudy Morales (3-3) of Las Vegas.

The complete, five-bout preliminary card for “Combate Americas: Road To The Championship Hollywood” will be announced soon.

Doors at Florentine Gardens open at 5 p.m. PT for the event, and the first preliminary bout will begin at 6 p.m.

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