Last June while traveling through Minnesota, Champions.co was invited to the watch Combate America's poster boy, John Castaneda, train for his his next fight.
The thing is, it hadn't technically been booked yet. Fighters were dodging him and a contract couldn't be agreed on. Eventually he had come to the conclusion he wouldn't be fighting on the August 11 card like he thought.
Most fighters would have simmered down on the intense training, and might have enjoyed a pizza or two to compensate the let down, but not Castaneda.
He upped the training, kept on the diet and made his mind believe he was still fighting, and it's a good thing he did. Just one week shy of the event, the headliner developed a staph infection and Combate America's Founder Campbell McLaren knew exactly who he would call.
Castaneda is coming off a five fight win streak, three of those under the Combate America's banner. He currently holds a 10-2 professional record, with his two sole losses coming from the same opponent.
"I like where I am at," Castaneda said. "They treat the fighters well. I couldn't ask for anything better."
Watch Castaneda Aug. 11 when he faces Angel Cruz as the main event for Combate Americas Ocho live on UFC Fight Pass.
Full fight card below:
COMBATE AMERICAS: CombateOCHO
Featherweight Main Event:
John Castaneda vs. Angel Cruz
Flyweight Co-Main Event:
Danny Ramirez vs. Benjamin Vinson
Flyweight: Heinrich Wassmer vs. Benji Gomez
Featherweight: Izic Fernandez vs. Marcos Bonilla
Flyweight: Jonathan Santa Maria vs. Albert Tapia
Featherweight: Jonathan Quiroz vs. Ryan Lilley
Lightweight: Jose Estrada vs. Christian Cardona
Lightweight: Erick Gonzalez vs. Yoandy Carrillo
Welterweight: Daniel Rodriguez vs. Hector Saldana
Welterweight: George Hernandez vs. Hakob Ter Petrosyan
(Images by Amy Kaplan)