Cris Cyborg Holly Holm Superfight for UFC 219

Cris Cyborg has been a dominate women’s championship fighter in all the promotions she has fought for. She has had a problem lining up opponents to fight.  Cris Cyborg vs Holly Holm is rumored to be set for UFC 219.  This could be one of the largest PPV events for women’s MMA.


It’s borderline miraculous that Cris “Cyborg” Justino and Holly Holm appear to be closing in on a women’s featherweight title fight for UFC 219.

Not so long ago, these two women were both down and out, with Cris Cyborg Justino facing a lengthy doping suspension and  Holly Holm reeling from three straight losses. The 145-pound division itself had been so problematic it seemed possible the UFC might scrap the whole thing while it was still in its infancy.

Yet somehow, here we are, with Justino vs. Holm suddenly looming as the biggest women’s MMA bout on the horizon.



Newly crowned UFC women’s featherweight champion Cristiane Justino has been an unbeatable MMA force over the past 12 years, but Holly Holm’s coach think she’s “definitely beatable.”

According to veteran coach Mike Winkeljohn, Holm, a former women’s bantamweight champion, can “pick apart” the famed “Cyborg” – and “there’s no doubt about that.”

As Winkeljohn told Submission Radio, Justino vs. Holm is a real possibility – and he likes the former pro boxing titleholder’s chances against “Cyborg”:

Justino (18-1) beat Tonya Evinger for the featherweight championship at UFC 214 on Saturday in Anaheim, Calif. Now the 32-year-old is looking for her next fight, and she’s eyeing Holly Holm (11-3), who’s most famous for beating then-undefeated champion Ronda Rousey in 2015.

“I would like it,” said Justino before a weigh-in for Claressa Shields and Nikki Adler today at MGM Grand Detroit. “I asked to fight Holly Holm, and I think it would be perfect.

“I’m asking for it. Let’s see what’s going to happen. Maybe it could be in Detroit. That would be nice.”



Holly Holm is ready and willing to fight UFC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg as soon as possible – she just wants to make sure all the terms are correct, specifically when it comes to financial compensation.

There are many fighters unwilling to face Cyborg (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who has been one of the most dominant figures in the sport over her more than 12-year undefeated run. Ex-champ Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) is not only of them, but she knows a bout the magnitude of one against the Brazilian is worthy of a significant deal.

Holm said: “This is a huge fight and I’m sure everybody around it, the promotion, is going to make money. So, I would expect more money.”

Okamoto asked Holm if the UFC 219 date on December 30 would be enough time to prepare, and Holm confirmed that it would be.

Holm also responded to Cyborg’s consistent calling out of fighters who compete at 135 pounds. Holm went as far as to say that perhaps it is Cyborg who is the one dodging fights. Holm likened it to her calling out any flyweight fighters and said Cyborg could make 135 if she wanted to make the effort.

Holm is in a position of relative power. She is the No. 2-ranked bantamweight contender, with Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko on deck at UFC 215. She would seemingly be next in line for a shot at the bantamweight strap, and she’s the biggest fight in both divisions. She may be able to call her shot as to which belt she goes after.

“I don’t really care what Cyborg says,” Holm said. “She’s had a lot to say lately. I don’t really look into it. I’m just waiting to have a contract sent to me. That’s when the fight’s on, and I’m going to train hard. I’m not into saying who is trying to use who’s name or all this other BS stuff. I don’t get into it.”

With the fullest expectations that her next trip to the octagon will be for an encounter with Cyborg, Holm said she has the utmost confidence she can be the one to snap Cyborg’s incredible 19-fight unbeaten streak.

“I think anybody has a game plan that can be used against them and some kind of weakness,” Holm said. “I can take her out of her element, out of her game. She’s definitely beatable. I’m not going to sit here and say she was impressive or not impressive in her last fight. Styles make a difference and that was a different fight and our fight would be something completely different. I’m ready for it.”

Victory Fighting Championship acquired by Alliance MMA


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Alliance MMA, Inc. (“Alliance MMA” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:AMMA), the only publicly-traded mixed martial arts (MMA) company, unifying elite regional promotions and aspiring MMA champions, announced today it has acquired the assets of Victory Fighting Championship. VFC produces events in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota and forthcoming shows in Dallas/Ft. Worth – the nation’s 5th largest media market.



Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, VFC has produced more than 60 live MMA events since its founding in 2002. The Midwest’s MMA leader also has global distribution, being broadcast exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS – the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s OTT digital streaming platform which reaches subscribers in more than 155 countries.1

Alliance MMA adds Victory FC to growing stable of regional promotions

Operated by owner and CEO Ryan Stoddard, VFC has served as the launching pad for former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, as well as UFC standouts Jake Ellenberger, Tecia Torres, Travis Browne, Chris Camozzi, Spencer Fisher, Josh Neer, and many others.


“With this acquisition, we are taking leaps toward achieving goals on multiple fronts,” said Paul Danner, Chief Executive Officer of Alliance MMA. “VFC’s organizational footprint, in terms of scale and distribution on UFC FIGHT PASS, provides an incredible opportunity for Alliance MMA to produce content – including live content – that fans want to see.

“In addition, as we continue to pursue a presence in all the right geographies, we will build upon VFC’s rock-solid foundation. Under the leadership of Ryan Stoddard, whose vision of expansion aligns with ours, we feel VFC’s unique brand of entertainment and proven quality can best translate to several new cities in the near future.”


“We at Victory are excited to join Alliance MMA, which promises to strengthen our promotion in many ways including access to an expanded slate of superlative venues,” said Ryan Stoddard, General Manager of Victory Fighting Championship. “I believe in the ascendant business model of Alliance MMA and felt this offered the most rewarding outcome both for our promotion and for fighters interested to climb the ladder to get to the majors.”

VFC joins Alliance MMA’s growing umbrella of regional promotions, operating in 13 of the top 30 Nielsen Designated Market Areas (DMA), including each of the top five. With the goal of unifying elite regional promotions and fostering the development of aspiring MMA champions, Alliance MMA also promotes MMA events through New Jersey-based Cage Fury Fighting Championship (CFFC), Washington-based Combat Games MMA (COGA), Illinois-based Hoosier Fight Club (HFC), Tennessee-based V3Fights, Maryland-based Shogun Fights, Ohio-based Iron Tiger Fight Series, Florida-based Fight Time Promotions, Georgia-based National Fighting Championship (NatFight), and Southern California-based SoCa Fights.

About Alliance MMA, Inc.

Alliance MMA (NASDAQ: AMMA) is a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) company that brings together the best regional productions. Alliance MMA’s mission is to identify and cultivate the next generation of fighters and champions for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and other premier MMA promotions.


The current list of  matchups for SuckerPunch fighters over the pas three months is shown below. These fights and events and the fighters participating in them were subject to change without notice.

“SuckerPunch continues to build a diverse roster bolstered by some of the most exceptional prospects in all of regional MMA,” said Alliance MMA President Robert Haydak. “Jason Soares, Manny Vazquez, and Karl Roberson are all excellent talents and Alliance MMA eagerly awaits their next bouts under the SuckerPunch Entertainment brand.”

With some of the world’s leading MMA promotions under the Alliance MMA umbrella, the organization aims eventually to host in excess of 125 events per year, showcasing more than 1,000 fighters. Alliance MMA is also dedicated to generating live original sports media content, attracting an international fan base, and securing major brand sponsorship revenue for live MMA events, digital media, and Alliance MMA fighters.

MMA is the world’s fastest-growing sport with worldwide fans of approximately 300 million according to sports marketing research firm Repucom. MMA is a full contact sport that allows a wide range of fighting techniques, including striking and grappling from various martial arts and disciplines including Boxing, Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Karate, and Muay Thai. Professional MMA fights are legal and regulated by state athletic commissions in all 50 states.

Alliance MMA, Inc. was incorporated in 2015 for the purpose of acquiring businesses that engage in the promotion of mixed martial arts (MMA) events. In 2016, the company completed an initial public offering that culminated in a listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Alliance MMA is the only mixed martial arts promotion company that is publicly-traded.

For more information, visit

Combate Americas boom in Mexico market

Combate Americas Booms In Mexico, Targeting Further Growth With New Leadership

I cover the business of sports with an MMA focus.

Combate Americas-Author’s note: In this series, FORBES SportsMoney will cover the most influential professional MMA promotions on a global and domestic (U.S.) scale, catching up with high-ranking executives to learn about each organization’s biggest business developments as 2017 gets into full swing.

We start our series with Combate Americas, a Hispanic MMA franchise founded by UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren that launched as a reality series in 2014.


While its counterparts are focused primarily on the U.S. market. Combate Americas has quickly carved out a niche in Mexico with an eye toward further expansion in South America.

The promotion closed out 2016 with a milestone partnership, signing on with Mexican multimedia conglomerate Azteca.  Who’s broadcasts are free on TV domestically. Beginning in January, Combate began airing monthly fight cards as well as a weekly highlights show. The early reception has been staggering — an average of 3 million viewers per broadcast.


McLaren, Combate’s founder and CEO, pointed to recent ratings from the UFC and Bellator to put that number into context.

“The UFC on Fox (23) show in the U.S. did about 3 million (rating), and Bellator (170) did about 1.8 (million rating),” McLaren said. “Mexico has less TV homes than the U.S., so we’re beating Bellator and the UFC in terms of households.”

McLaren and former pro wrestler/fighter Alberto Del Rio, who was named company president in October, are also confident Combate will supplant the UFC as Mexico’s clear-cut MMA leader sometime this year.

But they aren’t stopping at Mexico. In January, Combate 10 became the first MMA event to air on ESPN Latin America, which broadcasts to 16 countries across Central and South America. Two of those countries are already on McLaren’s radar as potential new markets.

“Columbia will probably be our next target for events,” McLaren said. “There’s also a huge MMA scene in Peru. But Columbia is a great TV market, bigger economy, bigger country, so Columbia is probably where we’re going to start in South America.”



With Del Rio leading the charge, a lot of Combate’s business is now being conducted south of the border. But efforts to grow the brand are also coming from their braintrust back in the states. That includes lead investor Joe Plumeri, an accomplished financial services and sports industry entrepreneur who was recently appointed Board of Directors Chairman.


I’m in Barcelona to announce our first event in Spain in March 2018



Combate Americas, LLC. is the first U.S. Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports franchise in history. It is designed to build Latino fighting champions and serve Hispanic fans. One of the world’s most avid groups of prize fighting enthusiasts. This is a new and growing martial arts organization.



The Combate Americas franchise includes award winning reality TV programming; action-packed, world championship live events and mobile programming.  Following its first season of reality TV on NBC Universo (formerly mun2), the company won the “Best Variety or Reality Show” at the 29th annual Imagen Awards on August 1, 2014, besting Mark Burnett’s The Voice for the coveted prize.  On October 14, 2014, Combate Americas scored the “Best Show or Series Reality/Competition/Game Show” honor at the 2014 Cable fax Awards.


The company’s CEO, Campbell McLaren, is universally recognized as the co-founder/co-creator of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).  New York Magazine described McLaren as “the marketing genius behind the UFC” and Yahoo! Sports proclaimed that he “knows more about the sport than just about anyone in it today.”

With an unprecedented product and a blue-chip ownership and management team, including reality TV pioneers Bunim/Murray Productions and Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Combate Americas is poised to break new ground and bring about a new era in world championship level MMA competition.


Campbell McLaren brings extraordinary acumen and experience to COMBATE AMERICAS.  As the acknowledged creator of The Ultimate Fighting Championship, he has been called “the brains behind The UFC” (New York Magazine) and Yahoo Sports said “…he knows more about the sport than just about anyone in it today.”

McLaren also created The Iron Ring, BET’s hip-hop version of The UFC that quickly became a hit show.  The Iron Ringstarred rappers Ludacris, TI, Nelly, and boxer Floyd Mayweather and had BET’s fourth highest premiere in the network’s history.

McLaren has also produced many highly rated and successful large-scale Television specials, PPV events and series, including VH1’s Paul McCartney’s Tribute to Linda, Lifetime Television’s Free to Laugh, and Court TV’s Major Misbehaviorand The Wrong Man.  McLaren’s television work has been awarded International Television Awards, Cable Ace Awards, and has been shown at SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, and the Berlin Film Festival.

McLaren studied documentary film making with Richard Leacock at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has an A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley.