Last year, former WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio teased a return to mixed martial arts (MMA) competition. Due to his relationship with Combate Americas, it’s likely that return will happen under the promotion’s banner. In an interesting bit of news, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz has now signed on with the promotion.
Soon after, rumors buzzed that Ortiz could be facing Del Rio in his promotional debut. Del Rio is no slouch in the MMA department. He has a record of 9-5 as a professional and has shared the cage with legends such as Mirko Cro Cop. The Mexican star hasn’t fought since a 2010 second-round TKO defeat to Yamamoto Hanshi.
Speaking to Fansided recently, Combate Americas head Campbell McLaren discussed Ortiz’s likely opponent upon his debut. When asked about Del Rio, McLaren said there are “a lot of interesting possibilities”:
I think there’s a lot of interesting possibilities, but really when it comes down to it, how many light heavyweight Mexican/Mexican-Americans are there? I’ve heard that guy Cain [Velazquez] is pretty good, but I also heard he’s been hurt so I don’t know if he’s ready,” McLaren said.
No, he’s under contract. I’m making a joke. He’s firmly under contract. I honor everybody’s contract. I don’t like people f**king around with mine, so I certainly wouldn’t do it. Cain is a great champion. Obviously, his last fight didn’t go that well. I was rooting for him, [but] it didn’t work out. But no, he’s under contract with the UFC so he couldn’t fight for me.
Del Rio was actually in attendance for Ortiz’s contract signing. There were no signs of animosity, leading McLaren to believe there aren’t any indications of a fight between the pair coming anytime soon:
Usually you want a bad guy,” McLaren said. “Neither of them are really bad guys. You saw them earlier. Did they look like they were going to fight? They were very friendly. Didn’t look like a fight to me.