ByAmy Kaplan, writer at
Senior Staff Writer // Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @PhotoAmy33
Amy Kaplan

Hispanic MMA promotion Combate Americas, which is led by UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren, is actively looking to sign NFL player Jonathan Casillas. confirmed the news with McLaren, who said the promotion is "very close" to signing the New York Giants linebacker.

Casillas, who is of Puerto Rican and African-American decent, played for the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New England Patriots prior to his current stint in New York, which is contracted to run through the 2018 season.

A two-time Super Bowl champion, Casillas was a member of the Saints team that topped a Peyton Manning-led Colts squad at Super Bowl XLIV, before hoisting the Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots five years later at Super Bowl XLIX.

Combate Americas' next event "Combate Nueve: Empire Rising" airs on UFC Fight Pass and NBC Universo on Friday, October 14. The fight card will be headlined by a bantamweight title fight between John Castaneda and Gustavo Lopez.

"Combate Nueve" marks Combate Americas' foray into the fledgling New York market, after the New York State Assembly passed a bill in March to legalize professional MMA. Mixed martial arts was previously banned in New York beginning in 1997.


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