On Saturday, December 7, former WWE champion Alberto El
Patron Rodriguez will step back into the cage for a winner-
take-all fight against former UFC champion Tito Ortiz. The
show, airing live on pay-per-view from the Payne Arena at
the U.S.-Mexico border in Hidalgo, Texas, is promoted by
The two will each put their prized possession up for grabs:
Alberto is putting up his WWE title while Tito has his UFC
title on the line, with the winner taking the losers belt,
hence the winner-take-all tag.
Rodriguez, who last had a mixed martial arts fight in 2010
losing to Yamamoto Hanshi, has a 9-5 professional MMA record
and went on a six-fight winning streak between 2003 and 2010
before eventually losing his last fight via TKO at Cage of
Combat 4: Spanish Bombs in Madrid, Spain.
But the former WWE and Impact champion is shaking off his
proverbial ring rust by going back to basics: spending
hours in the gym and train the way he used to train years
ago and learning the new styles of fighting.
Alberto credits his boss, Combate Americas CEO Campbell
McLaren, with coming up with the idea of him fighting Ortiz.
That is how we started on this fight. We have an excellent
working relationship, and he is also my friend, Rodriguez
told Wrestling-Online.com. This company has become my
family, and my home. It started to grow the way we always
wanted to do. This was the moment to do one last fight.
Campbell, who is the co-creator of the UFC, recruited
Rodriguez to be the President of Combate Americas in 2016
but he has since stepped down from the role and is now part
of the Spanish-language Univision broadcast team.
Rodriguez said that like every fighter, it was hard to be on
the sidelines talking about the sport while not getting a
piece of the action. You get so close to the fighters, you
see how much they want it it gives you the feeling to be
in the fighting game to do it again. he said.
But this is a one-and-done deal for the 42-year-old who said
he has no plans of stepping back inside the cage again. I
have been fighting to continue a legacy to help the
amazing athletes to be part of a pay-per-view card,
Rodriguez said. Like Rockyjust take the beast out of the
basement and to go home and see my childrento go back to
Rodriguez is a busy man and while training for this fight,
hes also running Nacin Lucha Libre with his good friend
Chavo Guerrero Jr., a new wrestling promotion based in
Mexico. It started in my homeland, he explained. We have
fighters and wrestlers from part of the world, but mostly,
in Mexico hopefully we will be as successful as Combate
Americas someday. Their first show aired in July in Mexico
City and it was broadcast on the Mexico channel Imagen TV.
There hasnt been a second televised event so far.
Despite his early MMA career, Rodriguez is obviously best
known for his time in professional wrestling. As Alberto Del
Rio in WWE, he won the WWE title twice, the World
Heavyweight title twice, the United States title twice, and
won both the Royal Rumble and Money In The Bank in the same
year. He also won the GFW Global title and the Unified GFW
World title while working for Impact Wrestling.
Alberto confessed that he doesnt watch any wrestling shows
anymore but knows whats going on. When I get home, I get
home to be a daddy and do to other stuff. But I know who is
doing OK and not doing OK, he said, adding that he still
keeps in touch with a few individuals, namely Sin Cara and
Drew McIntyre. This is a difficult business and hard to
keep real friends and real people.
His exit from both WWE and Impact have been well documented,
getting in trouble with both promotions during the last few
months he was with them. He was released from WWE in 2016
and then had some interesting videos posted about the
company while also in a turbulent relationship with former
WWE Divas champion Paige.
But despite the very public separation between WWE and
Rodriguez, when asked if he would take a WWE call, he
answered, Yes, of course. Its been awhile since I have
spoken to WWE, I know for this or any organization in pro
wrestling that my door is always open.
And his wrestling issues didnt stop there. Moving to Impact
in 2017, he was fired just a year later after he no-showed
an Impact vs Lucha Underground live show in New Orleans
during WrestleMania weekend.
He said he had no regrets on his exit from Impact Wrestling,
although admitted that both sides could have done things
differently. But we both spoke at length and buried the
hatchet. Recently, I talked with one of the owners and the
door is open for me at Impact and also other companies,
But before entertaining any wrestling offers, Tito Ortiz
the 44-year-old who has a 20-12-1 MMA record stands in his
way and Rodriguez is looking forward to take Titos belt
I have my trophy room with my title belts at home in San
Antonio. My wrestlingWWE titles. All the blood and sweat
your put in that belt and it has so much meaning to me. I
know what that UFC title means to Tito.
If youre interested in watching Combate Americas, live
television programming airs regularly on both broadcast and
cable television platforms: Univision and TUDN in Spanish
and beginning in December on AXS TV in English.