The most anticipated fighting event of the year finally took center stage. Fans across the globe were eager to see two legends compete as Tito Ortiz squared off against Alberto Del Rio in an MMA cage on PPV for Combate Americas in McAllen, Texas on Dec. 7.
The tale of the tape showed that Tito shrunk a little in his old age.
For those not familiar with Tito, he’s actually 6’3” with a 74 inch reach. Good thing they weren’t wearing luchador masks so they couldn’t pull the ole switcheroo with a 5’8” guy in a fixed bout for Alberto.
Alberto entered to rousing cheers from the fans. Tito was booed out of the building. One of the storylines prior to this bout was Tito supporting the border wall, while Alberto was anti-wall. Tito trolled those naysayers by entering to the tune of, “Real American.” Once playtime was over and the opening bell rang, Tito received loud chants in his favor.
Round 1 began with the two pawing at each other with punches. Alberto used a whizzer to take Tito down, but Tito ended up with side control on the mat. Tito worked for submissions. Alberto eventually got back up to his feet. Tito started swinging heavy then scored a takedown. Tito worked a little ground and pound to maintain control while adjusting positions. Tito mounted Alberto, who rolled over and gave up his neck. Tito locked in a rear naked choke. Alberto tapped with 1:50 remaining in round 1.
Tito Ortiz forces Alberto El Patron (Del Rio) to tap out to a rear naked choke. With the victory, Tito officially captured Alberto’s WWE Championship. 2019 has certainly been an intriguing yet incredibly puzzling year. pic.twitter.com/dYWXRfpW94 #CombateAmericas #TitoVsAlberto— Chris Toplack (@christoplack) December 8, 2019
Tito acted bush league by clearly holding onto the choke after Alberto tapped and the referee made contact for the break. Once the hold was released, Tito did his grave digger celebration.
Here is a longer clip of the finish if it is available to view in your region.
¡Lo enterró!— TUDN MEX (@TUDNMEX) December 8, 2019
Tito Ortíz le gana a @PrideOfMexico por sumisión con un "mata-león". Increíble. En el primer round.#WhatSideAreYouOn | #TitovsAlberto | #CombateAmericas pic.twitter.com/eIPOEgQ7kd
The two did eventually hug in good sportsmanship after the official decision was read. Tito had pledged to donate $50,000 to charity if Alberto could get past the first round. That didn’t happen, but Tito said he would give $10,000 anyway.
There was one thing remaining. They had a personal bet for Tito’s UFC championship belt against Alberto’s WWE championship belt. The WWE title was handed over to Tito, who gifted it to his two sons.
Credit to Alberto for taking the challenge. He tried hard but was outclassed by an MMA hall of famer. I don’t view Alberto’s performance as a poor showing of his skills. It is more like how much of a stud Tito is.
Now that that dream fight is in the books, who do you want next in MMA vs pro wrestling?