Mexico’s version of the UFC, Combate Extremo

Top Mexican promotion Combate Extremo (C.E.) today announced the opening of an office in Florida, in order to facilitate the expansion of the organization into the United States. Founded in 1999 by business executive Michael Shoffner and MMA journalist Hector Molina, Combate Extremo has promoted over 100 fight events in México since its inception. With television ratings that eclipse both Strikeforce and the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) promotion, C.E. is broadcasted to over 60 million homes in México via cable and satellite television.

“We know how to wake the sleeping giant in MMA, which is the Latino fight fan in the United States. Our entry into the American market is a strategic decision to position our brand as raw, exciting, and authentic sports entertainment that Hispanics simply cannot get from American MMA companies,” says Shoffner.

C.E. will hold its next event, “Combate Extremo: Greco vs. Ortiz,” this Saturday, May 21st, at the Arena Coliseo in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. In the main event, Strikeforce/Bellator veteran Jorge “Naked Man” Ortiz (19-8-1) will battle Alejandro “Greco” Baez (8-3), a former Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler. While Ortiz has won three fights via TKO in previous C.E. affairs, he is coming off a three-fight losing streak, and wants to prove he still has what it takes to be a contender in C.E. Meanwhile, Baez, after a tough transition to MMA early on his career, has undergone changes in his camp, and is now on a three-fight win streak in C.E.

Also featured at the event will be a scrap for the vacant C.E. 145-pound belt between Shah “Show Stoppa” Bobonis (11-7) and Manuel “Manix” Gallareta (10-7). “Show Stoppa” is a two-time C.E. 155-pound title-holder who recently made the drop to 145 lbs., while “Manix” is a Tijuana native who can knock out his opponent at anytime. The undercard will feature seven exciting fights that will showcase Mexico’s rapidly growing professional MMA talent. The event will be held at the 6,000 capacity Arena Coliseo, which is an open-air coliseum with a retractable roof.

In the inaugural Combate Extremo event in 2000, Larry “The Predator” Parker defeated Shannon “The Cannon” Ritch in the final match of an 8-man elimination tournament to be crowned the first “Copa México” champion. The attendance of 6,291 spectators remains one of the largest recorded gates for a professional mixed martial arts event in México. Originally known as Vale Tudo México, the brand name was changed to Combate Extremo in 2003, and has since promoted many memorable fight events. In 2006, C.E. began promoting events in Monterrey, México, where it has established its main center of operation.

Combate Extremo is México’s longest running professional mixed martial arts promotion. The promotion was instrumental in the growth and regulation of MMA in México by establishing the only federally appointed commission in the country – COMEXAM (Comision Mexicana de Artes Marciales Mixtas) and making it the first promotion in México to adopt the MMA Unified Rules.

To date, C.E. has promoted over 100 professional mixed martial arts events in México and internationally, running nine events in the 2010 season alone, along with another twelve scheduled for 2011. Events have featured fighters such as Aaron Riley, MMA pioneer Shannon “The Cannon” Ritch, IFL veteran Vince Lucero, and Bellator veteran Cedric Marks, and showcases the top Mexican fighters competing today.

Combate Extremo Chief Executive Officer Michael Shoffner is also a former FIFA-recognized futball player agent, and a current fighter manager, representing the next generation of international talent in boxing and MMA.

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