Combate Americas MMA returns Aug. 28 for closed Miami show

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Combate Americas will return to action Aug. 28 with the first of three shows from a closed set in Miami.

The mixed martial arts promotion revealed its plan to The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Combate, which focuses on Hispanic fighters and Spanish-speaking audiences, also will hold Friday night shows on Sept. 11 and Sept. 25 in Miami.

Combate hasn’t staged a show since Feb. 28 after canceling three events in early March, becoming the first major MMA promotion to postpone competition due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The first fan-free show in Miami will be headlined by a featherweight title fight between Juan Puerta and David Duran. The promotion’s events air in North America on Univision, TUDN and AXS TV.

Combate says it will implement extensive health and safety protocols for its return. The promotion’s staffers will undergo COVID-19 testing in Los Angeles before traveling to Miami, where its fighters will be tested for COVID-19 and antibodies by a physician.

Combate is the latest promotion to announce its plan to return behind the UFC, which held a fan-free show in Brazil in early March and then took eight weeks off.

The UFC returned May 9 in Florida. Its eighth event since its restart is scheduled for Saturday night in Las Vegas, followed by four events next month in Abu Dhabi.

Invicta FC is scheduled to return with a full show July 2 in Kansas City. The Bellator and One Championship promotions still haven’t set a date to return to major MMA competition, although Asia-based One held two events in Shanghai last weekend featuring kickboxing fights and minor MMA bouts.

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