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UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz’s Combate Americas debut is set.
Combate CEO Campbell McLaren on Tuesday told Generacion MMA that Ortiz (20-12-1) will fight former WWE wrestler and ex-PRIDE fighter Alberto Del Rio (9-5). A date and venue for the bout has yet to be determined.
Additionally, Combate Americas vice president of operations and communications Mike Afromowitz told MMA Junkie the bout will be contested at a 210-pound catchweight, and explained the process of putting the fight together.
“The fight is going to happen,” Afromowitz said. “I came up with the idea a few months ago, after Alberto had expressed his intention of wanting to fight for Combate Americas, and brought the idea to my boss Campbell McLaren. We went out to both camps and have put this fight together. It’s on.”
Del Rio last fought MMA in 2010, losing via second-round TKO to Yamamoto Hanshi. Previously, he served as a brand ambassador for Combate. He recently weighed in on the pro-wrestling prospects of ex-UFC champ Cain Velasequez, who’s set to make his debut for the AAA wrestling promotion next month in Mexico City.
Combate signed Ortiz in April, five months after “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” knocked out Chuck Liddell in a trilogy fight held under the Golden Boy MMA banner. Ortiz expected to take a management position with the fledging promotion, but plans for a follow-up event never materialized; he later said Golden Boy chief Oscar De La Hoya wasn’t invested in the sport.
The new promotional home is the latest comeback from Ortiz, who turned 44 in January. The former champ called it quits in 2012 after a loss against Forrest Griffin, only to return two years later when Bellator signed him to a new deal. He competed four times with the Viacom-owned promotion and still had fights remaining on his deal when he signed with Golden Boy, but he was allowed to take the Liddell fight.
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