It didn’t take long for Tito Ortiz to take out famed wrestler Alberto “El Patron” Rodriguez at Combate Americas: Tito vs. Alberto on Saturday in Hidalgo, Texas.
Ortiz finished Rodriguez in little more than three minutes of the first round of the main event, as he continues to prove that age is just a number.
Even after he finally avenged himself of two UFC losses to Chuck Liddell late last year, Ortiz hadn’t known that he would or wouldn’t ever fight again. But when Combate Americas came calling, they hit all the right buttons for the 44-year-old UFC Hall of Famer, who is physically the best he’s been in years after finally correcting several medical issues that plagued the latter half of his career.
“From 2003 to 2014, 2015, I’ve always had injuries. Now I don’t have injuries. They’re gone. My surgeon has taken care of me. I’m the Six Million Dollar Man – I’ve been rebuilt, and I’m able to push myself in training like I never have before,” Ortiz told MMAWeekly.com ahead of the bout.
Taking Liddell out inside of a single round, Ortiz’s confidence was at an all-time high heading into the bout with El Patron, who is only two years younger than Ortiz but with much less mixed martial arts experience.
Ortiz has fought professionally for more than 20 years, while El Patron fought to a 9-5 record in the 2000s. He is much more well known for his professional wrestling career, where he was a multiple time WWE champion.
Ortiz’s wealth of experience was evident from the opening moments of the fight. The two exchanged a couple of punches before El Patron took Ortiz to the canvas, but the former UFC champion immediately scrambled to side control and never looked back.
Though El Patron escaped to his feet a couple of times, Ortiz continually put him right back on the mat, all the while punching relentlessly.
El Patron kept trying to find a way out, but Ortiz eventually took his back and sank a rear-naked choke that forced him to tap out.
After three minutes and 10 seconds, Ortiz had won the fight. Less than a minute later, he had performed his gravedigger routine and ignited the Texas crowd.
Adorned in Trump 2020 gear – from his fight shorts to his post-fight shirt – Ortiz said little about US President Donald Trump in the cage, but said a few inspiring words and promised at least one more bout under the Combate Americas banner.
“I came from nothing. As a kid, I was in gangs. Wrestling saved my life,” Ortiz proclaimed.
“I got another fight with Combate. But who knows, I might do a couple more.”
¡Lo enterró! ?
¡Lo enterró! ?
Tito Ortíz le gana a @PrideOfMexico por sumisión con un "mata-león". Increíble. En el primer round.#WhatSideAreYouOn | #TitovsAlberto | #CombateAmericas pic.twitter.com/eIPOEgQ7kd
— TUDN MEX (@TUDNMEX) December 8, 2019
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Melissa Martinez defeats Desiree Yanez to become strawweight champion
Martinez did well in the first round lighting Yanez up with her more accurate striking, but Yanez turned the tables in round two. She put Martinez on her back and kept her there for a large portion of the round, dropping punches and elbows to her face.
Yanez again tried to put Martinez on the canvas in round three, but got caught in a guillotine that Martinez used to put Yanez on the defensive on the canvas. Yanez regained her feet, but again got caught in a guillotine. Yanez slipped her head out with just seconds to go, but ate a couple of strikes as they separated.
In the end, the judges at cageside ruled the fight a split decision. Two judges scored the fight 29-28 in Martinez’s favor, the other 29-27 for Yanez. With the decision falling to her, Martinez became the first Combate Americas women’s strawweight champion.
Combate Americas: Tito Ortiz vs. Alberto El Patron
- Tito Ortiz def. Alberto “El Patron” Rodriguez via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:10, R1
- Melissa Martinez def. Desiree Yanez via split decision (27-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Levy Marroquin def. Enrique Gonzalez via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:53, R1
- Dani Barez def. Joao Camilo via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
- Gaston Reyno def. Rey Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Dulce Garcia def. Anali Lopez Hernandez via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:47, R1
- Jose Flores def. Clarence Brown via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:16, R1
- Victor Martinez def. Luis Luna via TKO (strikes) at 1:39, R1
- Elias Urbina def. Mike Tovar via knockout (kick) at 3:14, R1
- Edmilson Freitas vs. Raymond Banda ruled a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)