Alberto “El Patrón” Rodriguez will be facing Tito Ortiz soon and while he is not green in the sport of mixed martial arts, it has been a while since he fought in an MMA bout. While he has his Greco-Roman wrestling experience and an MMA record of 9-5, the time off from fighting can create some ring rust in any competitor. To beat a champion, one has to train with champions so Rodriguez has acquired the help of Bellator MMA’s heavyweight and light-heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader.
Admittedly, Rodriguez was apprehensive about returning to MMA. However, having gone through some things when he became the face of Combate Americas, he felt he owed president Campbell McLaren a favor for having stuck by his side through some hard personal times. When speaking with TMZ, Rodriguez spoke candidly about what motivated him to jump into a match with Ortiz.
Admitting being depressed, he said one of the people that helped him through tough times, was McLaren. However, now that the past is in the past, moving forward he has been sharpening his old fighting blades with Bader, who said, “Alberto can definitely win.” Bader also said he has more than a puncher’s chance, “He has a chance in the fight anywhere it tends to go. Whether it’s on the ground in a wrestling exchange. He’s a good wrestler.”
Bader also seemed impressed with Rodriguez’s cardio and feels the longer the fight goes, the better it will be for “El Patron”. While fans may be critical of the two men facing off in their forties, it should be noted that outside of not being inexperienced in MMA, Rodriguez is the younger man between him and Ortiz.
Combate Americas: Tito vs. Alberto pay-per-view airs December 7 at 9 p.m. EST and can be ordered on FITE TV.