Talking With Combate Americas Host Andrea Calle
By Timothy Gilbert
When UFC founder Campbell McLaren made the decision to create his new MMA reality show, Combate Americas, it needed a host, someone with experience and knowledge in MMA and who could help tap into the Latin American market his show was targeting. Andrea Calle was the perfect fit.
“I’m a broadcaster that’s my main focus, especially in MMA broadcasting,” Calle told Full Contact Fighter recently.
“I’ve been doing it for the past four years. We started with a show called El Octagono where we cover MMA.”
During Calle’s illustrious career, she has modeled, performed in fitness competitions and won numerous broadcast awards, namely the Florida MMA Award for best media personality in 2012 and 2013, all before becoming host of Combate Americas.
“What drives me, I think, is my mom,” she said.
“I lost my dad when I was very young, I was only 11 years old when he died. And she’s always been a warrior, she’s been a fighter.”
“So just seeing her never giving up, she leads by example. You don’t want to let somebody like that down.”
But she wasn’t always focused on MMA and broadcasting, the University of Miami graduate with a B.A. in International Finance and Marketing had to take major steps to get to where she is.
“The guys from El Octagono they believed in me they told me we’ll teach you what you need to know,” she said.
“It was nerve-wracking. I had no experience. I just had somebody who believed in me.”
Since then she has honed her skills covering events, interviewing fighters and hosting her MMA radio show.
“It was amazing. The first year I did really big interviews,” she said.
“Within my first six months I got to interview Dana White for the first time, Cain Velazquez.”
“When I did like post-fight interviews I actually did video and that helped me a little when I did Combate Americas.”
It wasn’t long before Combate Americas made an offer to take her skills to television.
“They knew about me from the MMA stuff I had been doing. So they reached out to me,” she said.
“For me it was obvious. It was a huge opportunity I couldn’t, you know, let it pass on.”
“Not everybody gets a chance to host a TV show with personalities like Royce Gracie.”
She accepted the role of host, and once again found herself in a period of transition.
“This was a huge production; we had cameras all the time around us. It’s like a dream you never imagine, or at least I’ve never imagined I’d be part of something like this,” she said.
“Working on a TV show and a reality show is very different. You’re mic’d all of the time, so they’re paying attention to everything you do and everything you say.”
Working so closely with such talented fighters has really opened Calle’s eyes to the passion and commitment that the combatants all must have to chase their dream.
“I was really proud to work with these ten guys because all of them really represent the Latinos really well. The Latino race is a race; we’re fighters, we’re warriors and that’s what they showed throughout the show. All of them are fighting for something,” she said.
“Some of them have a bigger thing that drives them, which usually is their family or their story or whatever it is that has taken them this far to be able to be a fighter. And they showed that there, they’re not willing to give up no matter the circumstances.”
“A lot of fighters come all the way form Mexico. So they leave their families, their kids, they’re away from them for the whole time the season was filmed.
You can see Andrea Calle hosting the weekly Combate Americas, Sundays at 10 p.m. on Mun2.