Ahead of their big MMA fight tonight at Combate Americas Winner Take All PPV event in Hidalgo, Texas, Tito Ortiz and Alberto El Patron (formerly Alberto Del Rio) reflected on their careers which have both crossed between the real world fighting of MMA and the worked version of fighting in professional wrestling.
Ortiz experience in pro wrestling is far less than El Patron, though he did have two notable run with TNA Impact Wrestling in 2005 and 2013.
“I understood it because I was able to shoot some movies, having to be able to throw the punches as a visual for the camera, and make it look like you hit the guy,” Ortiz told Tony Maglio of The Wrap. “When I did TNA (Total Nonstop Impact wrestling)… I punched Jeff Jarrett and I actually punched him — on accident. But I really did punch him. I gave him a fat lip, and he was like, ‘You son of a bitch’ — after he woke up.”
“I think it’s a little easier than doing it the opposite way, of trying to learn to throw a harder punch compared to pulling a punch,” he added.
That would describe El Patron, who went from a long professional wrestling career and transitioned to MMA.
“It takes some time,” Patron said. “When I restarted training for this fight, at the beginning I was not as trained in my punches, I was not as trained in my arm. There’s a whole way to connect and that was one of the things that all of my coaches have been working with me. They’re like, ‘Man, you’re pulling your punches back. Why, why are you doing that?’ And I’m like, ‘Ah, dammit, it’s pro wrestling.'”
“And when we were doing amateur wrestling and they would punch me, I would go down,” El Patrón continued. “And I was like, ‘OK, OK, I need to reset everything and forget about pro wrestling for a while.'”
Patron continued, "Now, I’m not doing any pro-wrestling shows, I haven’t been doing that for a while. But I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be a little bit difficult for my opponents. Whenever I go back into a pro-wrestling show, I’m 100% sure that I’m going to kick or punch one or two guys more than I should have. But, it is what it is, that’s the way it is. Two different businesses, entertainment businesses, but in one you have to perform and go 100% and the other one you just have to entertain.”0comments
Their fight tonight is for the artifacts from each man's career. If Ortiz wins, he gets possession of Patron's WWE Championship belt. If Patron wins, he gets to take possession of Ortiz's UFC gold.
The fight can be streamed via FITE TV. Winner Take All begins at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday night.