It was only a matter of time before Bellator jumped on the “sign a former pro wrestler” bandwagon.
Bellator president Scott Coker told MMA Fighting on Monday that his organization has been in negotiations with former WWE standout Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio, whose real name is Jose Rodriguez, fought in MMA for nine years, including a pair of bouts with PRIDE.
“I think that we did reach out,” Coker said. “I’m not sure where that is and by no means is it in the 11th hour, but I know there’s some dialogue going on.”
Rodriguez, who competed in MMA under the name Dos Caras, Jr., has a notable head kick knockout loss to Mirko Cro Cop at PRIDE Bushido 1 in 2003 on his record. Rodriguez trained under Marcos Ruas and went 9-5 in his mixed martial arts career between 2001 and 2010. Seven of his nine career victories came via submission.
Rodriguez, 37, is 6-foot-5 and more than 230 pounds, so he would likely compete in either the heavyweight or light heavyweight division.
So, I guess Alberto Del Rio was an MMA fighter playing a pro wrestler? Interesting to see how this plays out. I’m sure Bellator wouldn’t mind the crossover fans.