Combate Americas MMA postpones return, citing COVID-19 surge

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Combate Americas mixed martial arts promotion postponed its return to competition Tuesday due to the coronavirus surge in Florida.

Combate Americas had planned to return Aug. 28 with the first of three fan-free shows from a television studio in Miami. Instead, CEO Campbell McLaren decided the promotion will wait indefinitely.

“This is not a decision we took lightly, and is based entirely on our focus to prioritize the safety of our employees, broadcast partners, fighters and the broader MMA community,” McLaren said in a statement. “We explored many alternatives to avoid this measure, including the possibility of moving our in-studio fights to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the state of California is in a similarly precarious situation with COVID outbreaks, and it seems untenable to proceed without taking into consideration the health of those we love.”

Combate Americas, which focuses on promoting Hispanic fighters to Spanish-speaking audiences, hasn’t staged a show since Feb. 28. It was the first major promotion to postpone its events due to the pandemic.

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The UFC returned May 9 with near-weekly shows after an eight-week break, and Invicta FC returned early this month in Kansas. Bellator is scheduled to return Friday with a show in Connecticut, and Asia-based One Championship plans to stage its first full show since the pandemic began July 31 in Bangkok.

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