Hispanic MMA promotion Combate Americas hosts Combate: Garcia vs Bandenay at the Auditorio del Estado in Mexicali, Mexico on Friday, February 21, 2020 at 9 p.m. ET live on AXS TV, TUDN, Univision and Televisa, with prelims streamed live on Facebook. The event features a lightweight title fight between champion Rafa Garcia and challenger Humberto Bandenay.
Garcia (11-0), a native of Mexicali, has quickly become one of Combate’s most popular rising stars. In his last fight on September 20, he won the Combate lightweight title with a unanimous decision over Erick “The Ghost Pepper” Gonzalez.
Garcia’s challenger, Humberto Bandenay (18-7, 1 NC), is a UFC veteran. Bandenay put himself on the map by winning the Copa Combate 2019 one-night tournament in December. Bandanay defeated Hugo Hernando Prada via unanimous decision, Jose Luis Verdugo via second round TKO and Erick Gonzalez via unanimous decision to claim the Copa Combate crown.
MMA Oddsmaker Nick Kalikas had this to say about the matchup.
“This is possibly Combate’s best fight ever in regards to pure technical MMA skill. Both fighters are incredibly talented. Rafa Garcia has a wrestling background, but he mixes in great boxing and is a complete fighter. Bandenay has UFC experience and his confidence is at an all-time high after his recent Copa Combate performance. Bandenay is most dangerous standing due to his striking skill mixed with unique southpaw power, but he also can go on the canvas. I expect this to be Garcia’s toughest fight to date. That being said, I’m going to open Garcia a slight favorite because he’s more defensively sound and the fact that I think he has more ways to win this fight. If Bandenay wins, it likely needs to be a finish.”
Kalikas sent out his opening betting lines for the lightweight title bout moments ago:
COMBATE AMERICAS: MEXICALI
Auditorio del Estado – Mexicali, Mexico
Live On AXS TV – Friday 2.21.2020 at 10pm ET
Main Event – Lightweight Title
Humberto Bandenay +100
Rafa Garcia -130
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