Despite being the least experienced fighter in Copa Combate 2, John Bedoya won’t be a rookie entering the one night, eight-man tournament.
The undefeated fighter enters Combate America’s second annual featherweight tournament with a record of 6-0 – the fewest wins any fighter carries into the tournament. Yet, in his young career Bedoya has been able to experience things other Copa Combate competitors won’t be carrying into the cage on Friday night at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.
The 27-year-old Bedoya will be representing his country of Colombia in the tournament, something he’s already done on a big stage.
“I do feel a pressure obviously, being the representative of Colombia – I was the one they chose, but this is not my first time going through something like this, I was in The Ultimate Fighter (The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 3), so I have experience being there with my colors, representing, giving it my all.
“So I already have some experience with going out there and being the only one in the sense of representing (my country), so that gives me a lot of relief. Regardless, I’m always going to give it my all. I’m representing Colombia and I’m coming for that cup.”
Bedoya faces Alejandro Flores of Mexico in the opening round of the tournament. The opening round will be one, five-minute round, and the semifinals and final bouts will be three, five-minute rounds.
Fighting multiple times in one night is no easy task. Bedoya knows that from experience.
“It’s tough, it’s very tough,” Bedoya said recalling the time he won a one night MMA tournament at the Palacio De Los Deportes in Bogota back in 2014. “Entering the third fight my legs were already mauled from low kicks and I was already pretty tired. But I managed it well and that night I walked out with the belt of the organization.”
“That night we fought for a belt, it was a grand prix of three fights, but those fights were all three rounds each. So there was more fighting to do (than at Copa Combate 2), but obviously here the level is higher.
“That was a national tournament. We had competitors from Cali, Barranquilla, Medellin, Bogota and other parts of the country so that was on a smaller scale. Here, this like like the Copa America, we have really good fighters from all over the place. We have people from Mexico, the U.S., Spain, Puerto Rico, and these are fighters that are at the highest level in the Latin American scene.”
Bedoya trains out of Octagon MMA in Bogota, along with former UFC fighters Fredy Serrano and Alex Torres. He’s currently majoring physical education in his university studies. On Friday night, he’ll be fighting for the biggest purse he’s ever fought for in his young MMA career – $100,000. If victorious, he plans on using that money to further his fighting career.
“Yeah, it is (the most money I’ve ever fought for) and if I’m not mistaken it’s probably the most amount of money anyone in the tournament has fought for,” Bedoya said. “It’s a big sum. With that money, first, I will pay off all my debts because I’m someone that doesn’t like having debts. And second, look into starting a business or something that can be productive, so I can focus more on my career. I just want to be at a place where money is not an obstacle for me to keep training and fighting.”