Melissa Cervantes (aka Thunder Rosa, Kobra Moon) will be the next crossover from professional wrestling into a mixed martial arts cage. She is scheduled for her MMA debut tonight (Nov. 8) against Nadine “Too Much” Mandiau in the 115-pound strawweight class for Combate Americas in San Antonio, TX.
Cervantes has been making the media rounds to share interesting tidbits about her journey to the cage. In an interview with Bloody Elbow, she explained how she turned down an offer from WWE so she could forge her path in wrestling with companies such as NWA and also in MMA with Combate Americas.
“I was at a crossroads in my career. I’ve been wrestling for about six years. The opportunity came to me and it sparked my interest. Everything just happened at the same time. Combate offered me a contract, WWE contacted me, National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) contacted me at the same time. I had to make really big decisions. The WWE offer wasn’t something that I was interested in. It definitely offered stability for my family and I, but that’s not what I want. My goal in life is bigger than that. Being a fighter and continuing to wrestle at the same time is the platform I need. I am fighting not only for me and my family, but for those I inspire along the way to believe in themselves.”
In a Spanish interview with the Los Angeles Times, Cervantes admitted that she still hasn’t told her mother about her MMA fight. Her mother would die if she found out. The wrestling ring is dangerous enough - now imagine the cage!
Cervantes has trained with Brazilian Top Team in San Antonio to prepare for her MMA debut. She has dabbled with jiu-jitsu since 2016 and only recently picked up striking. Based on Cervantes rapid growth in wrestling, I would not be surprised if she has an aptitude for fighting. During her career in Lucha Underground, she started as an okay performer then returned from a break between seasons with vast improvements in all facets of the pro wrestling game. It was an impressive leap. That’s why I wouldn’t doubt Cervantes could find success working her way up the lower levels in MMA.
Cervantes looked ready at the weigh-ins. That’s for sure.
I believe Cervantes’ opponent, Nadine Mandiau, may have a wrestling background. Mandiau is 0-1 as a pro and lost her debut via armbar in the first round back in June 2019.
The Combate Americas show will air live tonight in the US on Univision (12 a.m. ET) and TUDN (12 a.m. ET). Cervantes is listed as a feature attraction on the main card.
What do you think of Thunder Rosa’s decision to decline WWE and pursue her own path? Are you picking her to win?