December 18, 2023
MIAMI – December 18, 2023 – This year’s Copa Combate was full of drama, controversy and emotion as Mexico’s Ramiro Jimenez (10-0) took home $100,000 and helped Mexico win its second tournament.
The event took place this weekend, where eight men competed, representing their respective country.
The fighters included Jimenez, Pablo “El Mexicano” Burgos (5-3) of Santiago, Chile, Alexander Schenk of the U.S.A., Mauricio Eguiluz of Chile, Manuel Exposito (10-2) of Cordoba, Argentina, Tommy “La Salsa” Garcia (9-3) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Nicolas “Nico” Barna (8-4) of Montevideo, Uruguay and Leonardo “Chimmy” Morales (14-9) of Managua, Nicaragua.
In the quarter final, Jimenez survived a two round war. He nearly got knocked out by Burgos, but was able to recover to make it to the second round. Already down a round, he took control of the fight using his boxing, leaving Burgos desperate for a takedown.
However, after an incredible fight of back-and-forth striking, Jiménez advanced to the semi-finals.
Also, Eguiluz defeated Schenk by unanimous decision; Garcia defeated Exposito by decision, and Morales defeated Barna also by the judge’s decision.
However, in a mix of emotions, Morales didn’t come out of the fight well despite dominating his opponent. After the bell rang, he was left limping and was having difficulty getting up on his feet.
Doctors evaluated his condition, and after some time, officials notified the Nicaraguan that he could not continue in the tournament due to a knee injury.
Morrales pleaded with doctors and officials to continue, but for safety reasons was notified he had to drop from competition.
Garcia would go on to face alternate Shaheen Santana and advance due to a disqualification, which was met with controversy.
In the one round semi final, Santana obtained Garcia in a crucifix position, landing punches to the head and some, which seem to the back of the head. The referee stopped the fight; however, what seemed to be a clear win for Santana was over turned and awarded to Garcia and ruled a disqualification.
Jimenez, who walked in with a swollen left eye, put a quick end to Eguiluz with a leg kick knockout at the end of the first round.
And, in the finals, Garcia came out swinging for the win and even rocked Jiménez. However, Jimenez picked up his boxing, while Garcia desperately searched for a takedown. But going to the ground backfired as Jiménez got Garcia in a kimura in the first round.
A jubilant Jiménez is the 2023 Copa Combate winner.
Mexico is the only country to win two Copa Combate tournaments.