Things haven’t been going so great for the former Alberto Del Rio over the past few months. After receiving a suspension and then parting ways with WWE, he has no-showed an event due to allegedly surviving a knife attack, and in the past week he’s had to make the media rounds to comment on the second suspension of his significant other, Paige. But now things seem to be turning around for the wrestling star, as he suddenly finds himself in a whole new line of work.
In a press conference on Tuesday — emceed by none other than Del Rio’s former personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez (what a superb touch) — Alberto “El Presidente” was introduced as the President of the promotion by its CEO, Campbell McLaren. McLaren was one of the original founders of UFC, which lends Combate Americas a good bit of instant credibility.
In an interview with ESPN, Alberto discussed his new role.
“The moment Campbell McLaren sent me the prospect I said yes immediately,” Rodriguez told ESPN.com. “As you know, I like to be in front of the camera with a microphone in my hand to tell people all about how proud I am to be Latino and to be a Mexican. I think all of the fighters who are competing for Combate Americas feel the same way.
“I’m going to be recruiting fighters and I’m going to be there to help them get to the place that they want to get,” Rodriguez said. “We have a lot of talent in the company. Most of that talent is Hispanic. That makes me really happy to be able to help them.”
Alberto is a legitimate, massive star in Mexico — as McLaren described him to the press conference crowd, he is “royalty.” He also has a legit MMA background, as he famously fought in a mask as Dos Caras Jr. years ago. He has also been sought after by MMA promotions ever since the first time he left WWE. So this would seem to be a good fit for both him and for Combate Americas.
We just hope there isn’t a steep learning curve going from Pentagón to the Octagon.
Combate Americas is the first Hispanic MMA promotion and franchise, and currently has deals in place with NBC Universo and DirecTV. In addition, you can also watch the company’s events on UFC Fight Pass, which has become something of a one-stop shop for streaming independent MMA cards. Combate Americas’ next event takes place on Friday and is the New York debut for the promotion.