Combate Americas 13: Roman Salazar Prepared to Rule the Roost

CagePages spoke to Combate Americas 13 headliner Roman Salazar before his fight with Richard Palacios on April 20.

Ahead of Combate Americas 13 on April 20, Roman Salazar will be headlining against Richard Palacios in Salazar’s hometown of Tucson, Arizona.

CagePages caught up with “El Gallito” ahead of the event.

Among the most pleasant surprises was that Salazar was not told ahead of time that he was the main event.

When asked about the surprise, Salazar stated:

It was definitely a surprise.  But it’s also and honor and flattering that they trusted me to be the main event.

As a veteran with several UFC fights on his resume, he’s among the most seasoned fighters on the Combat roster.  Which is why it’s surprising to hear that he has a nickname like “El Gallito” which translates to “The Little Rooster.”  When asked about it, Salazar said:

I’ve had that nickname since I was 7-8 years old.  You know, I was the youngest out of all of my cousins and that nickname came from like ‘hey you always come to fight.’  The name just stuck with me.

When asked about the irony since Palacios nickname is “El Gallero” which also translates to “The Rooster,” he followed up by saying.

Yeah it’s funny how it works like that.  I guess we’re going to be two roosters in there throwing down.

One of the most notable parts of his career going into the fight is his UFC experience.  Salazar had several fights with the world’s largest MMA promotion, including a fight with Japanese legend Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto.

When you’ve been in the UFC and you have 15,000 people there it really does help.  Not to say that Combate isn’t a big show, however when you’ve been under those bright lights and that number of people, the smaller crowd really doesn’t phase you.

Salazar spoke on the benefits of his team and that a “selfish” approach toward himself as a fighter allowed him to change his style and get back in the win column. That’s not to say that his camp doesn’t question the habit of his final week of training.

I’m here at my house now and I’m watching Food Network.  It’s funny because my camp thinks I’m torturing myself watching all of these unique sweets and stuff.  It’s definitely what I’m going to eat after my fight.  I have been staying away from the tortillas and all that stuff, I’m Mexican so I’m ready to enjoy it.  Whatever Mom makes I’ll be ready to eat after the fight.

Palacios has been out for nearly a year.  When asked about what kind of opponent he expected Palacios to be at Combate 13 after the layoff, Salazar replied:

I assume he’s ready, he always comes to fight so we have to be ready for anything.  I’m assuming Ricky has been working on things while he’s been out.  Whether he comes out for a battle or if he’s being more methodical, we have to be ready for whichever Ricky shows up.

When asked about how he believed the fight would play out, Salazar finished by saying:

I don’t see it going the distance.  We both go in there to push the action.  If we do end up going to decision, I think it’s going to be a war.

Roman Salazar will be facing Richard Palacios at Combate Americas 13 in Tucson, Arizona.  Check your local listings.