Sam Alvey (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Sam Alvey Headlines Karate Combat: Kickback 2 in Cancun on Mar. 23

Today, Karate Combat lands another event in Mexico, with UFC veterans “Smilin'” Sam Alvey and Jose Quinonez fighting in the pit.

Alvey joined Karate Combat in Sep. 2023. He started his league tenure with a spectacular first-round knockout of Adam Ramos. After a successful debut, Alvey earned a chance to fight for the heavyweight title against middleweight champion Ross Levine. Indeed, UFC fighters are getting strong respect in this league. The unbeaten and younger Levine was considered a favorite. However, Smilin’ Sam’s experience happened to be the factor, which earned him a majority decision win in a close fight. Now, he will defend his title against fourth-ranked heavyweight Shotokan Karateka from Brazil Antonio Arroyo. The 97kg Brazilian has two knockout wins in a row, and he seems to be very tough opponent for Alvey. Nevertheless, Smilin’ Sam is one the most experienced professional fighters in the league, and that is a huge factor in his favor for long fights. Those who think Alvey should retire should watch his Karate Combat debut.

In the co-main event, UFC veteran Quinonez is making his Karate Combat debut against experienced Peruvian Jesus Lopez. It is not going to be an easy task for Quinonez, as Lopez is an eight-fight veteran of the league, with an even number of wins and losses. UFC fighters do get strong respect in Karate Combat, but still it is a bit different sport, and the Karate community will be happy to see another spectacular knockout by Lopez.


Generally speaking, Karate Combat received positive feedback with a addition of new president Asim Zaidi. Previously, Karate Combat collaborated with UFC fighters only as commentators and special guests, but now you can watch the event with famous UFC fighters headlining the card.

Karate Combat: Kickback 2 lands today in Playa del Carmen, Mexico today at 4 p.m. ET, and the event airs live on multiple streaming outlets. Tickets are also available through the official website of Karate Combat.