Former MMA world champion becomes the first Mexican American woman in history to lead matchmaking efforts for a combat sports franchise
NEW YORK – July 13, 2017 – Combate Americas has named retired, former women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) world champion Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc, a Fight Director for the Hispanic sports and media franchise.
The appointment makes Rivera-Calanoc the first Mexican American woman in history to be charged with leading recruitment and matchmaking efforts for a combat sports organization.
Based in Las Vegas, Nev., Rivera-Calanoc, a training partner of former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) world champion Miesha Tate, will be responsible for managing the rapidly expanding field of women athletes that compete for the Combate Americas live television event series, both in the U.S., and internationally in Latin America.
She will also participate in the recruiting and matchmaking processes for the Combate Americas men’s division.
“We are thrilled to welcome Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc to our fast-growing and robust team of executives,” said Combate Americas CEO and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) co-founder Campbell McLaren.
“Throughout her involvement in the sport,” continued McLaren, “Nicdali has been the consummate professional both in and out of competition, and we are confident that her vast experience as a professional athlete, will be a conduit to success working with the new generation of the sport that Combate Americas is investing in.”
Rivera-Calanoc has made history with Combate Americas twice before, competing in both the franchise’s first-ever, live televised U.S. event in Las Vegas in 2015, as well as its first live televised event in Mexico last January with Tate in her corner.
A 10-year veteran of professional MMA competition, Rivera-Calanoc was ranked amongst the top 10 fighters in the world in three different weight classes – flyweight (125 pounds), strawweight (115 pounds) and atomweight (105 pounds) – at three different points in her career.
On August 23, 2008, Rivera-Calanoc was crowned a world champion after defeating Shawn Tamaribuchi by way of unanimous decision in a flyweight contest in Shawnee, Okla.
Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Rivera-Calanoc immigrated to the U.S. at age 5 with her family, and was raised in Tulsa, Okla. She returned to her roots in Chihuahua annually until her latter teenage years.