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MMA

Tito Ortiz vs. Alberto Del Rio preview and prediction

After almost a decade away from fighting, Alberto Del Rio returns against UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz in Combate America’s biggest fight ever.Alberto Del Rio is back in an MMA ring for the first time in nearly 10 years against the biggest name and toughest opponent he can find; Tito Ortiz. Del Rio is not just in the main event of the upcoming Combates Americas event on Dec. 7 but was also the president of the company; though that was largely a figurehead role.Del Rio has a vested interest in this brand, and their desire to bring in pro wrestlers to fight on cards is a clear sign that they’re listening to their top star. Del Rio’s coaches told FanSided MMA that he’s been preparing for almost a year for his MMAreturn, going as far as to train with Bellator’s two-division world champion Ryan Bader.Del Rio often boasts about his grappling talents, constantly pointing out that he’d of been in the Olympics in 2000 but a lack of funding prevented Mexico from sending their wrestling team to the games. People often forget that Del Rio was a grappling great before he got into pro wrestling, winning gold at the 1997 World Junior Championships and competing often for the Central American and Caribbean Games. He’ll look to use his amateur grappling to more than likely set up a submission victory; earning seven of his nine wins via submission. His other two? KO/TKO finishes. He has a 100 percent finish rate.Ortiz, on the other hand, is no slouch in any realm. After going 1-7-1 in his last nine fights in the UFC, Ortiz has rebounded to have a Mirko Cro Cop-like second half of his career. He’s currently 4-1 over his last five, with wins over Chael Sonnen and Alexander Shlemenko. He last fought in 2018 against then 48-year-old Chuck Liddell in a disaster of a fight that saw Ortiz win easily for the now-defunct Golden Boy MMA promotion.Ortiz was known for his striking during his prime years but the now 44-year-old has developed a bit more of a refined style. He went nearly 11 years in between his first and second submission victories. Now he has three over his last five wins. Will Ortiz continue to rely on this newfound skill to beat the arguably better grappler in Del Rio?Ortiz is 44, and Del Rio is 42, so no one is expecting this fight to be Jorge Santiago vs. Kazuo Misaki 2 from 2010. It could, however, be one of the biggest surprises of the year. Both men are looking at reclaiming their legacies for vastly different reasons. Ortiz wants to prove that at his age, he isn’t done and that Rodriguez wants to prove his loyalty to Combate Americas for how they stood by him during his personal issues in 2017.That said when Del Rio was training regularly and in his prime, he was losing to the top names in the sport and doing so rather quickly. Ortiz has beaten men of similar ages to Rodriguez, not that long ago, and has done so in rather surprising fashion. Ortiz may not be as good as he once was but for one night he could be as good as he ever was and expect that to be the case here. Ortiz is still training as a full-time fighter and is expected to keep doing more fights in the future. Expect Ortiz to win handily by some sort of stoppage.Winner: Ortiz by stoppageCombate Americas: Tito vs. Alberto – Whose Side Are You On? takes place on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, live from McAllen, TX. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your live results and highlights from the whole event. Next: 10 MMA fights that are remembered for the wrong reasons

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