Daniel Zellhuber Takes Out Gian Franco Cortez in Combate Americas Peru Main Event

By Mike Sloan May 31, 2019

Fighter-rich Mexico prevailed over Peru in the main event of Combate Americas Peru on Friday night as Daniel Zellhuber stopped Gian Franco Cortez in the third.

In front of a stunned capacity crowd inside Coliseo Manuel Bonilla in Lima, "Golden Boy" withstood everything Cortez (4-1) threw at him and prevailed down the stretch. Zellhuber rocked his Peruvian counterpart with a pair of punches to the head early in the third and never stopped throwing until it was over. Cortez, bloody from the mouth and nose, tried to survive the incoming storm but couldn't.

Zellhuber (6-0) avoided one last surge from Cortez, seized his back and sunk in his hooks. From there, "Golden Boy" unloaded an endless supply of punches to the head, forcing referee Blake Grice to finally step in and pull him off. The end came officially at 1:32 of the third, allowing the young lightweight prospect to remain unbeaten.

In the Dazn-streamed co-main event, it was local fighter Luis Marlon Gonzales Campos (15-3) who eked out a split decision over Chile's Pablo Villaseca. The two fought a tooth-and-nail 150-pound catchweight battle, with each man landing solid punches and scattered kicks. However, two of the three judges favored Gonzalez's slightly better cage control and aggression, favoring him via scores of 29-28 and 30-27. The third judge had it 29-28 for Villaseca (13-5).

Strawweight newcomer Maria Paula Buzaglo landed scattered strikes in her contest with Mexico's Alitzel Mariscal (2-1) and won a split decision for her effort in front of her hometown fans. Buzaglo (2-0) was stronger in the clinch and largely controlled the pace for three full rounds and was given the judges' nod with scores of 30-27 and 29-28, offsetting the third official's margin of 29-28 for Mariscal.

After losing for the first seven minutes of his featherweight bout against Bruno Pereira da Silva (10-7), Kevin Moreyra turned things around get a stoppage win. "El Frio" was getting tagged by strikes on the feet, but once he seized da Silva's back on the canvas, he unloaded a series of unanswered blows until referee Jason Herzog stopped it. The end came at 3:12 of the second, allowing Moreyra to rise to 4-3.

In a matchup of undefeated bantamweight prospects, it was Eduardo Matias Torres who had his hand raised after three rounds. "Cyborg" was more efficient on the feet in landing the better overall strikes, and Torres (10-0) had nearly full control of action inside the cage. Rodrigo "El Gato Loco" Vera (8-1) never was able to find a rhythm offensively, which allowed Torres to win a unanimous nod via tallies of 30-27 across the board.

Renzo Mendez went toe-to-toe with Andres Ayala for two full rounds before prevailing via stoppage. "El Nene" slugged it out with Ayala from the opening bell until the end, with both bantamweights landing hard punches and kicks, as well as threatening with submissions. Unfortunately for Ayala (9-8), he suffered a gruesome laceration above his right eye during a wild exchange and after the second round concluded, referee Raul Porrata decided the cut was too severe and halted the action. The stoppage allowed Mendez (12-6) to win via TKO.

Bantamweight contender Vicente Vargas did more than enough to topple fellow Peruvian Alexander Valenzuela over three grueling rounds. "El Cemento" landed the better overall strikes and controlled the pace of the duel throughout and was awarded with a unanimous decision win. Vargas (12-4) won via tallies of 30-27 (twice) and 29-28. Valenzuela fell to 12-6-1.

David Martinez remained unbeaten as a pro as he starched pro debutant William Sanchez almost as soon as their bantamweight fight began. Sanchez, from Peru, chased after Mexico's Martinez with a volley of punches, but "The Black Spartan" blasted him with a right hook to the face. Sanchez dropped, which prompted Martinez (4-0) to unload a series of follow-up punches until veteran ref Jason Herzog halted it. The end officially came just 56 seconds into the first.

Jennifer Gonzalez Araneda made quick work of Dana Zighelboim Grau as she submitted her in just 83 seconds. Araneda (12-5) scored a takedown and quickly transitioned to a textbook armbar, and the end was right around the proverbial corner. "TazerGun" (1-1) tried to escape the lock but failed and had no choice but to bow out.

After a tactical standup battle between a pair of unbeaten flyweight Peruvian flyweights, it was Jose Alberto Ochoa Oblitas who prevailed. Ochoa (3-0) unfurled a swift left head kick, which dropped Omar Torres (2-1) on impact. But once Torres - who was rocked - tried getting to his feet, referee Raul Porrata intervened. Torres protested the stoppage and the Combate Americas broadcast team agreed that the stoppage was premature. The end came at 4:34 of the second frame.

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