Tito Ortiz isn’t done yet.
Not long ago, the former UFC light heavyweight champion and Bellator title challenger inked a deal with Combate Americas. And now, we know he’ll fight in his promotional debut: none other than former pro wrestler Alberto Del Rio.
Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren announced this exciting news in an interview with Generación MMA during a visit to Spain.
“I will say that the Tito Ortiz – Alberto Del Rio fight will be on TV and mobile in Spain,” McLaren said, sharing the broadcast plans for the fight with the Spanish outlet.
The 44-year-old Tito Ortiz is currently on a two-fight win-streak, having recently knocked out arch rival Chuck Liddell under the defunct Golden Boy MMA banner, and defeated Chael Sonnen by decision in his final Bellator bout. Prior to these wins, the former champ lost to Liam McGeary in a Bellator light heavyweight title fight, and defeated Stefan Bonnar and Alexander Shlemenko by decision and submission respectively.
The 42-year-old Alberto Del Rio, on the other hand, has not fought since February 2010, when he was defeated by Yamamoto Hanshi in Spain. Prior to that loss, he was on a six-fight win-streak.
The former pro wrestler has been serving as an executive at Combate Americas for some time, and has long been teasing a fight inside the surging organization’s cage.
“I’m a big fan of the Rocky movies and I remember that scene when Rocky is telling Paulie, ‘Hey, I need to get the beast out of the basement.’ That’s how I feel,” Del Rio said on December episode of BJPenn.com Radio, long before this fight with Tito Ortiz was announced. “I feel like I have to get something out of me, get that beast out of the basement. I went back to the gym and I started just kicking ass and working hard everyday and I said to myself, ‘Hey, you know, I think I can do this again.’
“I’m being smart, I retired for pretty much 12-13 years, I retired 12-13 years ago. I don’t want to rush into anything so I’m doing it the right way,” he added. “I started getting my stamina back, my cardio back ,and now, just two weeks ago, we started doing the sparring a little bit.
“I have a lot of friends in the business and I feel blessed because all of them are offering me their help. They want me to do my training camp with them. Good friends like Gilbert Melendez has offered me his help to train me for this. So, I’m doing my stuff in San Antonio right now but next year in January, I want to be here in Cali training, busting my ass. Kicking people’s ass and getting my ass kicked everyday to be ready to this fight.”
Who do you think will come out on top when Tito Ortiz and Alberto Del Rio collide under Combate Americas banner?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/9/2019.