We are just three days away from the July 27 Combate Clásico event in Miami, Florida and Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren is coming out swinging.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with MMAUNO.com last week, McLaren gave his opinion on the wider MMA landscape and while he had some kind words for the UFC, but some damning words for Bellator MMA.
“I’ve never been a fan of Bellator. I find it dull, I call it the retirement home for the UFC.
“It’s literally guys that I started with, Ken, Tito, Royce, who are still fighting 23, 24 years later. I don’t even know why Bellator exists, I’m very critical of Bellator.
— Combate Americas (@combateamericas) July 24, 2017
“I love the UFC. I think it’s nearly perfect in it’s incarnation. I never wanted to start another organization that wasn’t radically different and I think Combate. Is a very different style of fighting, a very different kind of flavour and it’s an opportunity for a lot of fighters that are being overlooked who are talented. It’s just a different vibe.”
McLaren, one of the co-creators of the UFC, then described the differences between the UFC in the present day and Combate Americas.
“The UFC, since I started it and thought of it, I wanted it to be the top of the heap and the number one place where the best fighters in the world can be–that’s what the UFC is,” McLaren said. “I think Combate, the reason our success has been literally phenomenal [and that’s] not ‘Mucho-Hype’ I can show you numbers, is because we take a ONE FC approach. We do it the other way and we build from the ground up.
“Our business is disruptive and we go in and find the best, new, unsigned talent.”
— MMAUNO (@MMAUNOcom) July 22, 2017
“Everyone from 22 to 24-years old to mid-30s who is a world class fighter is already signed to the UFC. When they leave, retire or whatever, then they go to Bellator. I can’t compete in that category. so, what we do is we go in, find a local arena, whether it’s Mexico City or Chile or Peru, we go in, see what the scene is there, meet all the gyms and trainers, use the internet and then from the grassroots up we build our organization. We then put a free-TV broadcast partner of top of that.”
McLaren then outlined that fans will find a different type of fighter plying their trade in Combate Americas. The CEO made it very clear that in Combate, his fighters have more freedom to put it all on the line and that’s why it’s a fan friendly MMA promotion.
La Jaula is ready. Our fighters are ready. Are you ready?
— Combate Americas (@combateamericas) July 21, 2017
“I created the DNA of the UFC and it was created on arrogance,” McLaren said. “It was built on world class grappling, jiu-jitsu, college wrestling. Combate Americas is all about going and finding scrappy kids who have taken up jiu-jitsu and give them a shot. The UFC is a style of MMA and it’s a very advanced form of MMA that mixes many striking techniques with very advanced grappling. It’s very high-level strategy.
“Combate Americas is a little more fan friendly because guys tend to just want to go in there and beat the crap out of each other.”
“It’s not a chess match mentality in Combate. That’s the style of fighter we are often asked, ‘Do you have to be Hispanic to fight in Combate Americas?’ The answer we give is we say, ‘No, you just have to fight like a Mexican,’ and that’s the truth. We have over 80-percent of our fights ending in finishes, the UFC does around half and Bellator does around 30-percent. My folks, men and women, come out and put it all on the line instantly.”