We’re under a week away from Combate Clasico on July 27 and one of the most highly anticipated fights on the card is the Combate Americas debut of Stockton’s own, Chris Avila.

The Californian will take on Ricky Palacios in a much anticipated featherweight bout scheduled for three, five-minute rounds. Avila, of course, is a student of Nate Diaz and trains at the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Speaking exclusively to MMAUNO.com earlier this week, Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren spoke about the support Combate had received from Nate Diaz and why Combate was the right place to Avila to continue his career.

“I think Chris is a tremendous fighter with a great future ahead of him,” McLaren said. “The Diaz brothers are long known for their discontent of the UFC. So what Nate has found with us, and Nick knows about us [too], he’s also been supportive, but Nate is really see’s Combate as a place for his fighters. We are fighter friendly and we respect the fighters for who they are. The more famous they become, the better it is for us, so we are very invested in building up fighters like Chris.”

Avila (5-4) isn’t being set up for an easy debut next week. Palacios (8-1) has won five fights in a row and has won all four of his bouts under the Combate Americas banner. McLaren believes that Avila vs. Palacios is going to be a fight to remember on July 27.

“Ricky has been with us more than any other fighter and fought with us in Miami three years ago at our first event,” McLaren said. “The thing about Ricky is, I think he’s impossible to knockout. I think if you hit him in the forehead with a brick you wouldn’t knock him out. He’s very tough and invariably his opponents don’t take him seriously.”

The only thing slightly blotting Palacios’ record is his history of missing weight. “El Gallero” has missed weight twice during his last four fights and McLaren gave a comical explanation as to why this might’ve happened.

“It’s the little love handles on him,” McLaren said. “See the thing is, when Ricky signed with us he said to us, ‘I want to get my family a good truck, my family want to run a food truck. Can you help me with?’ That’s the kind of crap we do for fighters so we got him a food truck, but we wrapped it as Combate Americas [and called it] ‘The Fighting Cock’ it looks just like a Combate Americas food truck.

“The problem I have now is though, I gave a fighter a f*cking food truck, how often do you think Ricky makes weight with a f*cking food truck? Does he have a nutritionist–no, he’s got a granny that can cook Mexican food like you can’t believe and he’s got a f*cking food truck. So he will show up with these love handles and the other guy will think, ‘What the f*ck,’ but you know that’s not how it works. Ricky is a scrapper, a brawler and it’s going to be a hell of a fight.”

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Getting it in tonight with my Patnas 💯 #getsum

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Palacios vs. Avila is set a be a barnburner and according to McLaren it’s got all the makings to be something very special. Avila may be the man coming off a run in the UFC, but the Combate Americas boss warns not to rule out Palacios.

“Chris is a very grounded guy, but I hope he’s not underestimating Ricky [Palacios] because that’s going to be a slugfest and it’s going to be a battle.”