Tito Ortiz and Alberto Rodriquez Headline Combate 51

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Can Tito Ortiz and Alberto Rodriquez spell PPV success for Combate?

Combate Americas is holding their largest event this Saturday night and they’re hoping Tito Ortiz can help them “move the needle.” He’ll meet former WWE Champion Alberto Rodriguez (known as Alberto Del Rio in WWE) in the main event. Alberto has previous experience in MMA and was famously knocked out by Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at Pride Bushido 1. 

The Main Event

Alberto Rodriguez has not competed in a mixed martial arts fight in nearly a decade. The last time he fought, he was defeated by Mamoru Yamamoto in February 2010. He had a very successful run in the world of professional wrestling and was a multiple-time WWE world champion. He seems to be taking this fight with Tito Ortiz very seriously, and it has garnered a bit of interest. Combate Americas is banking on it.

Ortiz is one of the most well-known fighters ever to step into the ring, cage or Octagon. He’s a former UFC world champion, fought for Bellator three times and fought in Oscar De La Hoya’s one event foray into the world of MMA. He knocked out Chuck Liddell in that fight. The fight fell far short of PPV expectations and Tito finds himself once again ready to step into the cage.

Ortiz is 4-1 since he left the UFC and enters this fight a large betting favorite. For Combate Americas they need the fight to be a success. They’ve put a lot of eggs in this basket.

The Co-Main Event

In the co-main event of this big card, Desiree Yanez (5-1) will face the unbeaten Melissa Martinez (6-0) in a clash for the Strawweight championship. It should be a very competitive fight and actually might well steal the show.

Martinez enters the fight with an unblemished record and five stoppages in her six wins a professional. She’s a potential mega-star in the sport and does everything well. Her kickboxing is very solid and she’s a very dynamic and accurate striker. Martinez has won by a head kick, knees, and punches.  She can strike from anywhere and is truly one of the best in the division. She has a perfect 5-0 record for Combate Americas.

Yanez is a tough fighter in her own right and enters the fight having won four consecutive fights. She made her Combate debut back at Combate 40, defeating Paulina Vargas. If she’s going to leave Hidalgo, TX with a world title, she’s going to have to fight a smart fight and try and take the fight to the mat.

I think this is going to be a fun fight, but Martinez has the necessary tools to leave the building with the belt. I like Martinez to win the belt inside of 3 rounds via TKO. This will be a fun fight.

The Remaining Main Card

Joby Sanchez vs. Daniel Barez

This should be a solid Bantamweight clash. Sanchez is an experienced fighter but has won only two of his last six fights. He had a short stint competing for the UFC and would like to earn his way back there. A win is vital here. Daniel Barez has won five fights in a row and enters this fight as a betting favorite. It should be a fun clash. I’m leaning towards picking Barez simply because he’s on a roll lately.

Angel Luis Cruz vs. Gaston Reyno

Cruz has lost three of his last four heading into this fight. He is, however, coming off of a victory at Combate 45. He’s a solid grappler and will be looking to win this fight with his submissions. Gaston Reyno has won three of four and after a stint in Bellator made his Combate debut back in September of last year. He has the more well-rounded MMA game and should be able to work his way to a victory here.

Dulce Garcia vs. Marisol Ruelas

This is a battle of two relative newcomers and both will be looking to establish themselves in the promotion. Ruelas is 1-2 as a professional and Dulce Garcia is 1-0. I don’t have too much info on either lady, but I’m expecting Garcia to move to 2-0 as a professional.

Preliminary Fights

Enrique Gonzalez vs. Levy Saúl Marroquín
Ismael Bonfim vs. Jose Flores
Ricky Palacios vs. Jose Ceja

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Dan has been covering and writing about MMA since 2001 when he started at Sherdog. He is a fan of all Bay Area sports teams and loves the San Francisco 49ers.

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