In a report on ESPN.com, Combate Americas has named Alberto “El Presidente” Rodriguez as their new president. Rodriguez is best known to professional wrestling fans as former WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio.
Combate Americas was founded in 2012 by UFC co-founder Campbell McLaren and is a mixed martial arts promotion geared toward the Hispanic fan base as well as Hispanic fighters. They signed a multi-year deal in April to air on UFC Fight Pass. Rodriguez will be formally announced as president and make his debut on Friday at the promotion’s first event, which will take place at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.
McLaren touted Rodriguez’s knowledge as the reason he tapped the former pro wrestling champion for the role.
“Alberto brings a tremendous amount of knowledge of what it means to be in competition, coupled with an ability to communicate his passion for the sport to his new role,” McLaren said. “From working with Alberto in the past, we have gotten to know him very well and are thrilled to have him on our team in an executive capacity.”
Pro wrestling fans know Rodriguez’s history in that sport, coming from a family of famous pro wrestlers. Dos Caras, his father, and his uncles Sicodelico and Mil Mascaras all are well known in professional wrestling, with Mascaras being a WWE Hall of Famer. But Rodriguez has experience in MMA as well, sporting a 9-5 overall record. He fought under the name Dos Caras, Jr. and his most well known bout came in 2003 against UFC veteran Mirko Filipovic, which ended in a knockout defeat.
Rodriguez, who reached a mutual release with WWE in September, will be involved with all aspects of athlete relations and development for Combate Americas. He hopes to pass on his experience in professional wrestling to the fighters on the roster.
“I am going to try and bring all of that experience to not just make great fighters, but great entertainers,” Rodriguez said. “We know Ronda [Rousey] and [Conor] McGregor are great fighters but they are also showmen. McGregor is an amazing fighter and his Octagon skills are not in debate. But the reason why he has accomplished all of those things is because he is a showman. And people want to see him winning or losing — but they want to see him.
“At the end of the day this is fighting, so they are going to be fighting. But we also want them to entertain the crowd.”
McLaren had approached Rodriguez previously about joining the promotion as a fighter, but he respectfully declined. Rodriguez said that he plans to continue working in professional wrestling on a part time basis until 2018 when he turns his focus exclusively to MMA.