mma / News

Alberto El Patron on His Fight With Tito Ortiz For Combate Americas, Weighs in on CM Punk’s UFC Run

November 29, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Alberto El Patron, Alberto Del Rio

Alberto El Patron spoke with PWInsider promoting his fight with Tito Ortiz for Combate Americas and discussed the possibility of more wrestling, CM Punk’s UFC run and more. Highlights are below:

On what led him to accept the fight against Ortiz: “Well, many reasons. Number one, to continue helping Combate Americas, which is my home, my company to continue to help the company to continue growing the way we’ve been doing it in the last six years, as you know. And for those not knowing this, but this company helps support Mexican talent, Latin talent in the sport of MMA and we have been doing an amazing job and by doing this I’m making sponsors to look Combate Americas in a different way. We also, by doing this, we also given the first Pay Per View in history for the company. And also to continue making my legacy stronger, to continue showing to all those supporters of lucha libre, or pro wrestling that Alberto Del Rio is still one of the greatest competitors of our time.”

On the difference in preparing for a PRIDE fight and Combate Americas: “Well, it’s completely different. Just to start with the fact that you have to completely focus in your training camp when you’re about to jump in the cage or inside a ring for an MMA fight. I’ve been in Arizona, in Phoenix, Arizona for the last 10 weeks. That’s the place where I’m doing my training camp. We’re about to close the training camp because we’re only two-and-a- half weeks away from the fight. So I’ve been there for those ten weeks and just training three times a day, eating, training and sleeping. That’s all I’ve been doing for these last ten weeks. I’m not doing any appearances in pro wrestling. I haven’t done any, any nothing, any office work with Combate Americas. I think they have been so nice that they’re letting me to be completely focused in this training camp and just getting ready to go in and kick Tito Ortiz’s ass in McAllen, Texas.”

On if we wants to do more pro wrestling on a regular basis: “Well, I’m going to completely focus on Combate. Combate is the place where I feel completely happy. The owner, the boss of the company, Campbell McLaren is one of my best friends, someone that has been supported me for many years. Good ones, bad ones, best ones. And I love what we’re doing in the company because we are helping people that has been trying to get an opportunity in other companies to succeed and then they have had the door close in their faces. We are opening that door to all of that Latino, Mexican athletes to have a place to fulfill their dreams, but I will also be doing some pro wrestling after December the 7th. I will after December the 7th, I will just go and enjoy the holidays with my family. And then in 2020 I’ll be doing some stuff with pro wrestling again. That’s for sure. As you know, pro wrestling has always been the love of my life and you cannot just put that on the side and forget about it. So I’m going to be doing something for the fans in 2020.”

On what he hopes fans get out of his fight with Ortiz: “I mean this is just one and one only [fight]. I’m doing this for the right reasons. My dad asked me, ‘Why? What was the reason why I was doing this?’ And I said, ‘Because.’ He said, ‘You know, you have nothing to prove, right?’ And then I said, ‘No, I know. I have something to prove to myself. I have to prove to myself that I’m still that athlete, that competitor that I’ve always been.’ But yeah, no, I know. I’ve done it all. I’ve seen it all. I’m doing this for the right reason and especially when you work or you are in a company where the entire organization has been supporting you through difficult times like the ones I had two years ago when I was going through my divorce and the custody. The horrible battle for the custody of my kids. And this company specifically my boss and friend, Campbell [inaudible 00:07:10], they supported me the whole way. So when you have people like that, you pay loyalty with loyalty. And I know this is what I’m doing, stepping into the cage one more time. One last time. [inaudible 00:07:28] company to, to get to the place where we want to have the company. So in December the 7th, they are going to see two competitors. They are going to have decide what side are they on? Mexico, United States? Lucha libre, pro wrestling, or MMA? Tito Ortiz, or Alberto El Rio? They are going to see two competitors one night going for the glory. I’ve been saying this since the beginning. Tito’s is not about … a bright guy, but he got a terrific idea when he asked me if I would put my WWE title on the line and then he will be putting his UFC title on the line and the winner takes it all. It was a fantastic idea. So they are going to see all of us going for those titles and giving them a hell of a fight.”

On if there’s any other wrestlers he wants to see crossover to Combate Americas: “That’s the thing. I mean, we know that we have some pro wrestlers that have MMA background like Sexy Dulce. She is, as you know, a pro wrestler, pro boxer and she decided to do the crossover from those sports to MMA and she did a fantastic job. Thunder Rosa did the same. She has been practicing jujitsu for a while and she felt like she could be in the cage and give it a try. And even though she didn’t win the fight, she did a fantastic job. We have all the people that could be doing something. If the contracts are timed let them do it, like Sin Cara. You know Sin Cara is one of my best friends and he used to be an [inaudible 00:09:31] wrestler for many years. He’s a tough competitor, a tough fighter, a real wrestler. So if in the future he decides to not work for the WWE, he will always have the door open here in Combate Americas if he wants to do the crossover from a pro wrestling style to a MMA fighting style”

On CM Punk’s MMA career: “Well for me, he did really good. I know there’s a lot of people always saying bad things about them CM Punk’s run in MMA. But it’s because they don’t really know what it takes to be in a training camp, to be training to be in a professional fight. Plus CM Punk feel he went straight to the UFC. He didn’t start it in little shows or with … not renown fighters. He went for the big one in his first fight and even though he lost the first fight, he tried it again. He gave it another try and I think he did a good job. It’s not easy. If it was easy, we will have everybody trying it and doing it and making money like we do. But it’s not an easy sport. It takes a lot from you mentally. Your body. Your body takes a tool. You have to train three times a day, eat the specific food and it’s not easy. It’s not easy. It’s really hard. Like in my situation, I have to move from San Antonio to Arizona without my kids, without my family, just to be here completely, completely focused in training and be ready to do what I’m planning on doing on December the 7th in McAllen, Hidalgo, Texas and end Tito Ortiz’s career.”

On how hard his weight cut was: “Yes. Yes. I mean it was not hard, hard. But yes, I had to change my eating habits and work with a nutritionist to bring me down to 220 pounds. And it wasn’t easy, but I’m not going to say that I was suffering through the process, but I mean it’s part of the things that you have to do when you decide to be fighting in a professional company like Combate Americas.”

On his mindset going into the fight: “I’m excited and I’m ready. I want this to happen. If the fight will be tomorrow, I will be completely happy. I’m ready. I’ve been training really hard. I did a really good training camp. I know Tito is doing the same. I know Tito Ortiz has been training. This is his sport. He’s been breathing and needing MMA for many years and I know he’s ready. I’m ready. I just want to go and fight because that’s it, because the training camps are the hard part. The fight, it’s three rounds, five minutes each. And it’s, you go and submit or knock your opponent out, or you get submitted, or you get knocked out. That’s it. The fight is the easy part to put it that way. The harder part is to be 10, 15, 16 weeks away from home and training and fighting every single day because that’s why you’re doing training camp. It’s like having a fight every single day. So I’m just ready, excited and ready to go there and to give the lucha libre, pro wrestling fans, MMA fans the last Alberto Rio appearance inside the cage.”

On if he’s open to a return to Impact: “Well the door is always open for all the companies, for all the pro wrestling companies. You know, I know I love pro wrestling and companies they like Alberto Del Rio, so the door is always open, not just for them, for any company. It was just a matter of time for me to want to do pro wrestling again. And I want to do it. I’m going to give some more time to my appearances here in the United States, so everything is possible.”