While the Copa Combate tournament will be focused on the eight men competing for the $100,000 grand prize, the women will also be competing in Cancun. In the co-main event, 20 year old Melissa “Super Mely” Martinez will be facing Gloria Bravo to set the stage for the men’s final. I caught up with “Super Mely” in between training to discuss her upcoming fight.
First off, I head you are a student in college at the same time as being a fighter. What are you studying and do you plan on continuing with both as your career progresses
“I’m studying chemistry and yes I plan to continue my studies at the same time with my MMA career.”
How were you first introduced to martial arts?
“I started when I was two years old in Karate. I’m now 20 years old.”
Your fight nickname is “Super Melly,” how did that nickname come about?
“Everyone started to call me that where I trained since I was the smallest one on my team. They like the way I fight so they said they would use the prefix “Super” and “Mely” is short for Melissa. So, Super Mely.”
“This is your second fight with Combate Americas, what’s different this time around?
“Well this time I’m representing my country and I will be facing a fighter who has a lot more experience and is from another country. I am fighting on an event that has many fighters from different countries, but I am proud that I am the only Mexican woman on the card.”
The event, Copa Combate, is going to be aired throughout Latin America and the United States. What is it like for the people in your life to know you’re going to be a part of this card?
“Since I fought the first time, we knew of the league since it airs here (in Mexico.). Many of my friends and family are going to be watching.”
The fight card is focused on the one night men’s bantamweight tournament, do you have a fighter that you think will win it all?
“Of all eight fighters, my favorite is Carlos “El Lobo” Rivera. He is from my country and he is on my team. Although there are other very good fighters, he has trained very hard and one normally goes for the one from the same nationality.”
If you were part of a tournament like this, what do you think the biggest challenge would be?
“The most difficult challenge is not knowing who you are up against. There are eight fighters and you don’t know who to prepare for. So you can just prepare for different strategies. I think the event is a well-rounded one and everyone likes the event.”
Your opponent Gloria “Gloriosa” Bravo is ten years older and has more professional fights than yourself, how do you evaluate her as an opponent?
“She’s a complete fighter. She is much older and has much more experience and has been fighting much longer than I have. She’s at her best when fighting on the ground.”
Finally, what is your prediction for how the fight will go?
“I have been working hard putting together a strategy with my team. I think it’s going to be a hard fight and I hope to get the win for my country. I think the fight could be on the ground or standing. I plan to be dominant in either area.”