By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fans? Today I will be sitting down with the lovely and talented face of Combate Americas Andrea Calle. Andrea has an extensive knowledge of MMA and is well respected by the fighters and her peers in the media. Let’s have a seat and find out a little more about her and what led her to be where she is today.
I am aware that fans of MMA and especially fans of Combate Americas already know who she is. I wanted her to tell new readers and fans a little about herself. Andrea has been covering MMA for the past 7 years. In the beginning, she was on a TV show called El Octagano. They were the first Spanish outlet covering MMA in the United States. She was also the first latina covering the sport of MMA in the USA. She felt honored to have the opportunity to learn and grow with them while covering regional events such as Fight Time and CSA. She also covered major events like Bellator, UFC, Strikeforce, and The World Series of Fighting.
Andrea is much more than a pretty face and a highly skilled media personality. She has a resume on par with the best of professionals. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international finance and marketing from the University of Miami. A degree in that field, from such a credible college, is not be easily obtained. She also holds a masters degree in entertainment business from Full Sail University.
With such a hard earned and time-consuming educational background, I wanted to know what made her choose the path to MMA media. Andrea said it has become her passion more than anything else. “It has never felt like a job” she said. Since she did her first interview with boxing legend Hector “Macho” Camacho and UFC star Clay Guida, she knew what she wanted to do. She said that she was nervous and excited at the same time. That was the moment she had figured out what she was meant to do for the rest of her life.
Andrea said that she changed her educational path and decided to go to broadcasting school. She studied everything about MMA. Magazines, books, watching fights, and everything in between became her priority. She said that she went back and watched every UFC event from number 1 to learn everything she could and to see how the sport has evolved. It has been “a long but rewarding journey for me” she stated. One thing that makes her smile is the fact that she is able to live out her dream and make a living while doing it. That is something that not everyone has a chance to do.
When she started out as a broadcast reporter and was just getting into the sport, she had never done anything like this on camera before. It all seemed like it happened so fast that she didn’t even get the chance to be star struck. While being calm and collective in her craft currently, in the beginning, it was all about nerves and that feeling you get in your stomach. They would tell her that the people she was going to be talking with were huge names in the sport and very well known. That made her even more nervous if that was possible. She knew that it would be great to make a living doing something that she had fallen in love with so quickly. Through the years the more she learned, the more passion she had for it, especially with Combate Americas. Being there from the beginning to watch it turn into what it is now has been a blessing for her. She said “it has been such an honor and so humbling to be with such an amazing promotion”.
Andrea stressed how great it is with Combate. “People truly care about each other and hope that great things happen to one another” she said. Several of the fighters for Combate Americas have said the same thing. When asked how important she thinks it is to balance the business side of things with employee and fighter satisfaction. She stated “fighters are the faces of the promotion. They want to be remembered by the promoters, the fans, the referees, and the people calling the fights. When you feel like you belong and that someone cares about you, it makes your performance that much better. Combates truly cares about every single person they employ. Everyone has a place in the big picture and everyone plays a crucial role in the overall success of the promotion. I have seen the management do so many little things that make a huge difference”.
Andrea told me a story to showcase exactly what she was talking about. One of their fighters had been injured and they had a little after party for her. Management got on a plane to attend the party and show support their fighter, who at the time was feeling a little down because she was not sure how long recovery would take. They made sure to be at this event. “No one else would do that”, she said, “Every promotion has their superstar who gets exceptional treatment but here everyone gets the same treatment”.
Andrea obviously has a great respect for the people she comes in contact with, which is why she has become beloved by the fans of Combates. She has been nominated for best MMA personality in the past and has won an award for best MMA website. She stated that it isn’t about getting awards. “To feel that you are being acknowledged for what you are doing and to be respected by your peers is a great feeling. The task has always been gaining the respect of the fighters and having them know that I have has the knowledge and ability to do this job.” Most importantly, she wanted to make sure she earned respect for the work she was doing. These awards gave her the confirmation of that.
She did admit that being part of the media is a unique situation. She gets to see a side of the fighters that the general public or fans do not often get to see. What is seen on TV is all the flashy fight promotion stuff. She gets the chance to see them outside of the cage with their families. She gets to see the struggles with weight cuts, mood swings, and the things that go wrong in their regular life. She sees them stressing over an injury that they train through because they have a fight in 5 weeks. She gets to see them as regular people that go through very hard times to live out their dreams.
Andrea has done modeling, acting, bikini fitness model competitions, marketing, fighter representation, host of a reality TV show and is the face of an MMA promotion. After all of that she said she feels as though she is just getting started. She would like to have a talk show or a TV show one day, with all of these fighters coming on as her guests. One of the best times she has had was doing the reality show for Combate Americas. She had huge stars on the show and even got to meet Royce Gracie. He was her ‘Superman’ and she got to meet him in person. She said he was the most “humble and nicest person to meet”.
With all of her success in media, she wanted to give one important piece of advice she could offer to someone who wants to break into MMA media. Her advice was simple. “Never give up. You have to believe in your dreams. It doesn’t have to be MMA related – this goes for everything in life. There will always be people being negative towards you. There will always be people who want to see you fail. If they are being negative, that means you are doing something positive. Every time they tell you no, it means you are one step closer to the bigger yes. If it is your dream, don’t be afraid to fight for it and to chase after it”.
Make sure to follow Andrea on Twitter and Instagram @andreacallecorp. Also, you can find even more information at AndreaCalle.com.