mma / News

Alberto El Patron On Why He’s Facing Tito Ortiz, Crossover Between MMA and Pro Wrestling

December 3, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Alberto El Patron, Alberto Del Rio

Alberto El Patron spoke with MMA Weekly for a new interview hyping his fight with Tito Ortiz this weekend at Combata Americas: Hidalgo. Highlights are below:

On why he’s returning to MMA: “When I started working with Combate being around the fighters and watching every single fight, every single event, it was always making me feel like I could do it one more time. I was focused on stuff with the company and taking care of my business and doing pro wrestling shows. That was just an idea in my head but never really, really went for it. After going through a difficult time in my life when I got divorced and got into that horrible custody battle for my children, it made me rethink about my life and the people that had been there with me in the difficult moments in my life, and the Combate Americas organization were there for me. When I put all of that behind and said to myself, “How would I repay these people who have been there?” The answer was taking one more fight. I knew that if I were taking one more fight we could get a PPV for the company, we could get more sponsors, more TV deals, and that is one of the reasons I decided to go for it.”

On if his training is largely the same as the last time he fought: “I went back into the gym to get back into fighting shape. I’ve always been in shape, but there’s a difference in being in shape for the mirror and being in shape for a fight. After being in the gym and seeing I still have it, and I still have the hunger to compete, and my body was reacting in a perfect way to all the stuff you’re going to do to fight on a professional level, I decided to come to Arizona and start my training camp. The core of MMA has evolved and changed a lot from those days when I was fighting in Japan 14 years ago. Fighters are more compete, are more well-rounded: they know how to strike, they know wrestling, they know Jiu-Jitsu. Back when I was in Japan, I was focusing on my wrestling and taking people down and just holding them down, but now I’m working on all the aspects that you have to work if you plan on becoming an MMA fighter or coming out of retirement like I did. You have to train the way MMA athletes train these days. Not just the way to train, but how you help your body recover (has changed); back in the day we didn’t have the hyperbolic chambers, altitude chambers or cryotherapy; all of those things that we have and enjoy today.”

On why he wanted to fight Tito Ortiz: “When we started talking about me taking one last fight, I had one condition only: it was to fight somebody with a name, like the name of Tito Ortiz. Luckily for us, Tito Ortiz was not under a contract with any other organization, and when I found out I said I wanted Tito Ortiz. He’s the perfect person for me. He’s a legend in the sport and he’s a great fighter. We are pretty much the same age, same weight, and in fighting someone like Tito Ortiz will inspire all those Latinos, those Mexicans, who want to do something spectacular in their lives, regardless if it’s pro wrestling, MMA, or any other job. With everybody is talking about Combate Americas and what they are doing.”

On if he foresees more wrestling/MMA crossover: “We were doing it in Japan; Mark Coleman was doing it, Kevin Randleman was doing it, they were going back and forth from pro wrestling to MMA, but now we have so much doing it in the United States. We’re going to see it more and more and more. In most sports you can make good money if you have good personality, like with Ronda (Rousey), bringing that personality to pro wrestling. Some pro wrestlers are great athletes, were competitors in different sports, so that way they have the skills and athleticism to compete in a demanding sport like MMA is.”