Last year, one of Alberto Del Rio’s first gigs following his departure from WWE was accepting a role as president of Combate Americas. He later stepped down as president, but is still very involved with the MMA promotion, and currently serves as an announcer and ambassador for the company.
Combate Americas is currently gearing up for the Copa Combate one-night tournament on Nov. 11 in Cancun. In preparation for the event, Alberto Del Rio sat down with us to talk about his new venture, the difficulty of living a life in the public eye, and a whole lot more.
WITH SPANDEX: How did you first get involved with Combate Americas?
Alberto Del Rio: The way we started out was friendship … working relationship was because Campbell McLaren wanted me to fight for the organization. He was trying to find a big name to draw attention from the media and draw attention, and he offered me to fight, he actually gave me an amazing contract, big big money, that made me think of going back inside the cage, but because I’m an honest man, I told Campbell, I said, “I started fighting because I needed the money, I was younger, I was not making too much money at the beginning of my career. But those days are gone, now I’m a big name, I make good money so I don’t know if I’m hungry anymore for fighting, but I guess I can give it a try.”
So I went back to the gym for about two to three weeks then I realized that it wasn’t there anymore. I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t needing the money, I’m a father now. I remember my little boy telling me, “Daddy, when we go home? When we go home?” So just like Roberto “Manos de Piedra” Durán, I said, “No Mas” in a sparring session. I told my trainer, I said, “Marco, I cannot do this anymore, I don’t think I want to fight.”
So I immediately called Campbell and I said, “Amigo, I don’t think I can do it, I’m sorry. Thank you for trying and thank you for the offer but fighting is not in me anymore.” And he said, “Okay. Don’t worry, I will call you in the future, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to find the right spot for you here in Combate Americas,” and he did.
So what’s your involvement now with Combate Americas?
Alberto Del Rio: Well, I used to be the president of the company, I was helping them finding places, finding fighters, hiring fighters. Unfortunately because of all my activities, because I travel all the time and I have to come back — my professional career with my projects in Mexico and my family — it was being impossible for me to maintain the pace or to be on top on the demands that the company was needing for me.