Gustavo Lopez Retains Bantamweight Championship in Combate Americas 42 Headliner

By Mike Sloan Aug 24, 2019
Gustavo Lopez submitted Joey Ruquet with a second-round arm-triangle choke in 2015, and in the Combate Americas 42 main event on Friday at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s in Stateline, Nevada, he greased him with a crushing right hook.

Lopez (10-4) stood toe-to-toe with “El Cazador” early on, though neither man managed to land anything clean. However, when Lopez forced Ruquet (6-2) off-balance with a takedown attempt, he unloaded a massive right hook to the jaw. As soon as a stiff Ruquet hit the canvas, veteran referee Chris Tognoni intervened and halted the contest at 1:45 of the opening frame. Lopez’s win, his second in a row, not only electrified the capacity crowd but allowed him to retain the Combate Americas bantamweight title.

In the co-headliner, the promotion crowned its first-ever featherweight champion, as Argentina’s Bruno Cannetti turned in a dominant performance in a unanimous decision against Andres Quintana. Cannetti (8-5) used a stellar leg kick attack early and often, and whenever Quintana began finding a rhythm in response, “Aquiles” took him down. The formula continued for three rounds, and all three judges gave Cannetti the nod with 29-28 scores. Quintana fell to 15-3.

Lightweight contender Jose Luis Verdugo used a brutal barrage of leg kicks to tear apart Erick Sanchez for three rounds and win a lopsided unanimous decision. “Dos Lobos” took Sanchez (9-5) off his feet repeatedly with kicks, but despite the damage he inflicted, Verdugo (10-7) could not find the finish. Instead, he settled for the decision with 30-27 marks across the board.

J.J. Torres fought like a wolverine against the somewhat larger Cole Jordan, as he tore into him with an endless wave of punches. Jordan (0-1) suffered a busted nose and cuts around his eyes, but he never stopped trying to turn the tide of the middleweight battle. However, Torres (1-0) was relentless and had Jordan withered and ready to go with his constant onslaught of punches. In between the second and third rounds, Tognoni spoke with the cageside doctor, decided to stop the fight and gave “The Sacred Warrior” a TKO in his pro debut.

Owen Craugh made a fabulous pro debut, as he torched part-time model Aaron Armijo and stopped him in the first round. Craugh (1-0) scored a powerful takedown and proceeded to use his wrestling prowess to control “American Made” on the ground. From there, he pounded away with punches from the top and kept throwing once Armijo (0-1) gave up his back. Referee Jason Herzog waved off the welterweight battle at 2:33 of Round 1.

Finally, Lupita Godinez was step ahead of fellow strawweight Felisha Magallan (0-1) over the course of three rounds. Godinez landed the better punches -- most notably her left hook to the head -- and had the taller Texan rocked a handful of times. All three cageside judges saw it 29-28 for Godinez, who improved to 3-0.
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