COMBATE GLOBAL have announced the return of 22-year-old Irish MMA sensation and 2021 Debut of the Year award winner, Patrick 'The Leech' Lehane.
Lehane, currently 4-1 in his professional career will square off with American — Gabriel Morales (3-2) — in a featured Combate Global featherweight (65.8 kgs) matchup, live on Facebook from Miami, Florida, tonight.
Lehane, fighting out of SBG Cork, shocked the world last August 1 by emerging victorious in Combate Global’s first-ever one-night, four-man European tournament.
Despite entering the Combate Global tournament as a professional debut competitor, Lehane managed to overcome two consecutive opponents— Sebastian Santana Guedes (8-3-1) of Spain and Maxime Giacalone (5-5) of France – who boasted a combined two dozen professional bouts under their belts, to become tournament winner.
“Combate Global took a risk signing Pa as a pro debut when the other fighters were all double-digit professional veterans," said Lehane’s coach.
“I assured them that Patrick’s extensive amateur background at IMMAF level as well as his other combat experience in boxing, Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu, meant that he was well able to hold his own at that level.
“It took some convincing but in the end, I think everyone was happy. Patrick launched his pro career on a huge platform and Combat Global signed a hot prospect on the rise.”
Following the miraculous tournament victory, Lehane notched two additional wins – a split decision over Mexico’s Isaac Ruelas (4-2) and a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Hugo Flores (9-3) – on September 10 and November 12, respectively, to rack up a total of four wins in a span of just over three months.
“I love fighting for Combate Global," said Lehane. They’re such a professional organisation. Everyone there is so helpful and as a production, they have amazing reach.
"Their audience is numbering in the millions weekly and competing head to head with the biggest organisations in the World for viewership on each event."
While the Corkman is riding the crest of a wave, he recalls a time not that long ago when he questioned if it was all worth it.
“This hasn’t been an easy journey. I’ve always loved fighting and when I’m competing, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. Having said that, there are far smarter ways of making a living and for most professional fighters, the pay just about covers the expenses incurred while competing.
“If you were doing this just for the money, you wouldn’t last that long. Before I turned pro, I grappled with the idea of dedicating my life to fulfilling my dream.
“Was it going to be worth it? Was I going to make enough money to make ends meet?
Am I risking my health for a pipedream? I gave the whole thing very serious thought and I decided my passion is for MMA, competing and living the healthiest life possible.
Lehane describes how closely the opportunity of fighting for Combate Global lines up with what he’s always dreamt of.
“A few years ago, I was asked in an interview where I’d like to fight one day. I didn’t hesitate for even a second.
“I said 'America'. I’ve always visualised fighting in a packed stadium over there and having already fought in Europe and the Middle East, I felt that the USA was the next big landmark for my career.
“Fast forward a couple of years and now I’m fighting regularly in Miami, Florida where the sun is always shining and life is pretty good.
“I absolutely love what I do and I’m so thankful to Combate Global for all the opportunities they’ve given me.”
Fighting out of Deerfield Beach, Florida, Lehane’s opponent for this Friday, May 13th, is 29-year-old Morales, who originally hails from Venezuela, and is looking for his third consecutive win in what will be his Combate Global promotional debut.
The five-fight Combate Global event will be headlined by a bantamweight (61.2 kg) showdown between rival Mexican rising stars Max 'Steel' Gonzalez (3-1) of Mexico City and Axel Osuna (3-1) of Guadalajara, J.L.
The entire event will be available to watch live on iPPV. To find links, be sure to follow Patrick Lehane on instagram (@pa_lehane).