Former WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio Joins MMA Promotion

Professional wrestler back to MMA?

Former WWE champion Alberto Del Rio has finally signed with an MMA promotion after months of speculation. However, at least for now, he won't be setting foot inside the cage, instead coming on board as part of the commentary team of the Hispanic MMA startup Combate Americas. Del Rio, real name Jose Alberto Rodriguez, who is currently competing as a professional wrestler as Alberto El Patron, had a decent run in mixed martial arts earlier in his career as Dos Caras Jr. (how's that for confusing). For some time, it has been known that MMA promotions were busy courting Del Rio, thanks to the success of wrestling stars Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley, and CM Punk (who has yet to take part in a single fight, but has no doubt helped the UFC's bottom line thanks to his promotional value).
With Del Rio having more professional MMA fights than any of the aforementioned trio save Lashley (including a classic loss in Pride to heavyweight legend and current UFC star Mirko Cro-Cop), and his status as a WWE champion, Del Rio's value had never been higher. Combate Americas emerged as a front runner for the wrestler's services earlier this year after a picture surfaced on Twitter showing Del Rio alongside the company's founder. Signing on as an announcer may signal that Del Rio is no longer interested in returning to action in the MMA world - though you shouldn't discount it completely, as fighters have juggled such duties before. In the meantime, the Del Rio/El Patron name will help draw new fans to the fledgling MMA startup. Mexico is fresh territory for the sport, and its fan base (and large population) is something the UFC covets - they hosted their most recent heavyweight title fight in Mexico City. Combate Americas would very much like to beat them to the punch. Del Rio's colour commentary duties begin September 17th with the promotion's Road to the Championship event in Las Vegas.
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Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.