Combate Americas, a mixed martial arts promotion, announced on Tuesday that former WWE Superstar and MMA fighter Alberto Rodriguez, best known as Alberto Del Rio, is the new president of the company. UFC co-founder Campbell McClaren started the promotion in 2012. Back in April, the promotion signed a distribution deal with the UFC to air their events on the UFC’s streaming service, UFC Fight Pass. Rodriguez will make his public debut as president this Friday at the promotion’s event in Verona, New York at the Turning Stone Resort Casino.
“The moment Campbell McLaren sent me the prospect I said yes immediately,” Rodriguez told ESPN.com. “As you know, I like to be in front of the camera with a microphone in my hand to tell people all about how proud I am to be Latino and to be a Mexican. I think all of the fighters who are competing for Combate Americas feel the same way.”
Rodriguez, who departed WWE in September, will be involved in all aspects of athlete relations and development for the MMA promotion.
“I’m going to be recruiting fighters and I’m going to be there to help them get to the place that they want to get,” Rodriguez said. “We have a lot of talent in the company. Most of that talent is Hispanic. That makes me really happy to be able to help them.”
“I know it’s going to be not impossible but really difficult to be bigger than the UFC, just because of all the structure in that company,” Rodriguez said. “But I’m pretty sure we’re going to be the No. 2 MMA company around the world in less than two years. We have an amazing group of people behind the project.”