2019 has been a bizarre year for the world of professional wrestling. If Alberto del Rio vs Tito Ortiz wasn’t odd enough by itself, they upped the ante by putting a WWE championship belt and a UFC championship belt on the line.
The rumored date of December 7 for an MMA fight between Alberto and Tito has been made official by Combate Americas. The two fighters sat down with MMA Mania’s Matt Ryan for a conversation with an unintentional Between Two Ferns vibe. They covered what brought Tito to Combate Americas, what brought Alberto out of MMA retirement, their opposing stances in the US-Mexico border wall (skip from 9:00 to 18:33 if you are tired of politics), and, most importantly, Tito and Alberto wagering a UFC belt and a WWE belt on the outcome.
You may be wondering how the belts being wagered came about. Tito and Alberto explained the motivation behind the idea.
That is a fantastic idea from Tito. Any time fans see a promotional photo with both the WWE and UFC belts, they will no doubt try to figure out what’s going on between Alberto and Tito. I’ll be rooting for Alberto, but part of me wants to see Tito’s inner child come out when he raises the WWE title high above his head in glory.Tito Ortiz: Well, this is my idea. I wanted it. I want that belt. That’s how bad, it gives me a motivation that I haven’t had in a long, long time. Because now I see an opportunity to get something I’ve always wanted as a kid. And I still have that kid inside of me. I bust my ass for 22 years to have something, and now I have a chance to have something and that’s going to be that world title belt right there.
Alberto del Rio: That’s fantastic. That’s actually a really good idea from Tito. Yes, it was Tito’s idea. I know the one with the bright ideas most of the time, but this idea wasn’t mine. It was Tito’s and I told Campbell McLaren that’s a fantastic idea, because we’re putting our legacy, something that we worked so freaking hard to get to put around our waist. Regardless of if it was pro wrestling or MMA, we both worked hard, and it wasn’t easy. Even though they (the belts) are not sanctioned by anyone, but it’s sanctioned by us...
Tito: It’s sanctioned by my legacy.
Alberto: ... Because it’s in our trophy room. It tells you everything about us as personas, as athletes. It’s blood, sweat, and tears. That’s what we’re putting on the line.
When it came time for a fight prediction, smack talk ensued and it might even result in a $50,000 charity donation for the children.
That $50,000 charity wager by Tito was intriguing, but I was hoping for a, “I’m not your buddy, pal,” “I’m not you pal, buddy,” exchange. When it’s all said and done on December 7, I do believe Tito will be writing that check. I think Alberto will be able to survive five minutes due to his toughness.Alberto: I can not make any predictions right now, because this is MMA. Anything can happen. You can win in the first round, second round, third round, submission or knockout, but I’m 100% sure I’m winning this thing. Like I been saying to everybody, I’m not going to let my family down, my people down, and myself down. I’m doing this for the right reasons. I’m doing this for the right people.
It’s not just for me, like my dad, mi jefe, mi jefecito. My dad asked me, “Why are you doing this Alberto? I just want to f**king know if you’re doing this for the right reasons, because you know you have nothing to prove to the world. You have accomplished everything you wanted.” And I said, “No, no, no. I have something to prove.” And his face changed completely. He was about to be mad at me, and I said, “No, no. I have something to prove to myself and to my children. To prove to myself that I’m still that amazing athlete, that amazing man, and to prove, to show my children that daddy’s a f**king superhero.
Matt Ryan: Tito, your retort?
Tito: (checking his nails) My retort is that this doesn’t get past the first round. And I guarantee you this doesn’t get out of the first round. Alberto’s never fought anybody like me. Nobody that’s beat him has ever fought anybody like me. I’m a former world champion for a reason. I’ve been fighting in this game of mixed martial arts for a reason. Alberto del Rio, if you make it to the second round, I’ll donate $50,000 to whatever children’s charity you choose for. If you can make it to the second round.
Tito: I guarantee you, partner, you bit off way more than you chew.
Alberto: Get that check ready, my friend.
Tito: When you wake up looking at the lights, you’ll be wondering what happened.
Alberto: We’ll see. You just keep talking and saying that to yourself.
Tito: Nah, I ain’t talking. I don’t talk, buddy.
Alberto: That’s fine. You’re doing it now, so...
Tito: And you can follow me on my YouTube and you can watch all my work I do. And all the people you’re training with, I’ve already beat them, buddy. I’ve already beat them in the first round. They didn’t even last two and a half minutes. Maybe you can last a lot longer than two and a half minutes.
Tito Ortiz vs Alberto del Rio in Hidalgo, Texas will headline Combate Americas’ debut to PPV. If that back and forth exchange didn’t get you pumped enough for the $39.99 price tag, perhaps this hype video will do the job.
Will you be rooting for Tito Ortiz or Alberto del Rio? Does the addition of UFC and WWE title belts make you more interested? Would you put money on Alberto getting past the first round?