Andrés “Doble A Leal” Ayala makes his Combate Americas debut in a big way as a competitor in the Copa Combate tournament in Cancun, Mexico on November 11, 2017. Here is my interview to get to know Andrés ahead of the tournament.
First off, my mother is actually from Colombia herself also. What part of the country are you from?
“I’m from Bogota, Colombia. Specifically the town of Alcala.”
How big is the sport of MMA in Colombia? How many gyms are there to train at?
“MMA is not as big now as it was six years ago when the sport first became really popular. It is still going, just not as strong. MMA is stronger in Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, and Pasto. There are about three or four gyms in each city.”
How were you first introduced to mixed martial arts?
“About six or seven years ago I saw it on TV and I was so excited. I found a way to start in the sport and make my dream of being a fighter a reality.”
There is some confusion as to your record as of late. Different fights for you have been logged as part of your official record on various sites. Can you set the record straight, how many fights did you have in September?
“Yes, my first fight in September was in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico. I won the fight by decision. The second fight took place fifteen days later. It originally wasn’t my fight, it was my teammates but he got sick. So I stepped up and moved up in weight. I lost that fight in the second round by guillotine.”
The tournament is set to take place in Mexico and you have trained there with the Bonebreakers team in the past. Are you training with them for this fight?
“I have done training camps at Bonebreakers in Mexico but I do have my own team here in Colombia. One of the eight fighters who is in the tournament is one of my teammates so for this one I trained at my camp in Colombia. I do go to Mexico but I return soon after. I have done camps in Guatemala and Argentina also through Bonebreakers.”
The fight is going to air across Latin America and the United States, how have the people closest to you reacted to you being part of such a big event?
“The people closest to me are very happy, but not as happy as I am.”
Who do you think is the biggest threat in the tournament?
“Myself obviously. All the participants in the tournament are at a good level. We are going to rip the floor and break the stadium that night. I’m going to rip their faces off.”
Finally, what’s your message to the fans who are going to see you compete for the first time in the tournament?
“To all those watching, including my fans who are able to tune in, I hope to hold up the Colombian flag as high as I can. I hope people are happy with the performance and learn about the sport.”