On Friday night, MMA promotion Combate Americas made news by signing UFC Hall of Fame member Tito Ortiz. Headlines of the acquisition got my mind churning about who Ortiz could be fighting. Let’s try to connect the dots to a likely dance partner, perro. I must say that this is not news or even a rumor; only deductive speculation on my part.
Earlier in April, Tito Ortiz told TMZ that he was coming out of retirement for a fight just for fun. Lots of guesses were thrown around, but I don’t think very many thought it would be with Combate Americas. So, who could be worthy of the main event appeal that Ortiz brings to the table?
Why, Alberto el Patron (aka Alberto del Rio), of course, but you already knew that.
Alberto is currently the lead hype man, or ambassador, for Combate Americas. It was announced last October that Alberto would be training to return in the cage for one more fight in his MMA career.
Some digging led to an interview in Spanish by ZonaDeportivaUS with Alberto the day before Ortiz signed. Alberto was asked how soon it will be until we see him in the cage. He replied that the contract was done with an ex-champion.
The most convincing evidence is video of Ortiz actually signing a contract with Combate Americas. It sure sounds like marble-mouthed Ortiz said, “Alberto Dorrito... (naughty word) ... Time to kick your ass, buddy.” Or maybe Ortiz was rolling his r’s for Rio, not Dorrito.
That sure sounds like Tito Ortiz vs Alberto el Patron is the plan, but it has not been officially announced as of yet. I guess Combate Americas wants to make it a spectacle, and video of signing Ortiz was the first step. Expect Ortiz to be in the cage for October 2019, whether Alberto is his opponent or not.
Ortiz would be the clear favorite against Alberto, but Alberto is no slouch himself. He was on the Mexico national team for Greco-Roman wrestling and earned third place in the 1997 World Junior Championships.
For more about Alberto el Patron’s MMA career, I recommend watching Fight Network’s Retrospective two-part interview. Part 1 talks about growing up in the wrestling business, getting into MMA, and giving up his mask in WWE. Part 2 discusses losing his passion in WWE, having great matches with Dolph Ziggler, and wrestling for Impact. You can view them in the Retrospective season three section on the Fight Network website.
Alberto began his MMA career in 2001 after being contacted by a Japanese promoter with an offer of $15,000 to fight Kengo Watanabe.
He was making about $35 per wrestling match at the time, so the decision was a no-brainer. Alberto pulled off an upset victory, but he admitted that he probably would have lost if not for Watanabe disrespecting the mask of Dos Caras, Alberto’s father. That lit a fire in Alberto’s eyes, which fueled a German suplex to break Watanabe’s arm.
Alberto’s most infamous MMA fight was against lethal striker Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. Alberto lost via head kick of death at 46 seconds into of round one. Alberto pulled in $120,000 for that bout. The timeline is a little fuzzy, but it seems like Alberto finished his MMA career with 9 wins and 5 losses before making a decision to fully join WWE.
Ortiz last fought in November 2018 against long-time nemesis Chuck Liddell in Bellator. Ortiz was victorious via knockout.
Would Tito Ortiz vs Alberto el Patron make you tune in to Combate Americas? Who would you be rooting for in that fight? What are the odds Alberto can pull off the upset?