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Combate 51: Tito vs Alberto preview, weigh-in video

Once again, anyone that tells you that MMA and pro-wrestling aren’t inextricably linked is lying to you. Hard.

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Tito Ortiz can’t seem to find a way to stay retired for good, but at least it’s worked out great for him. After his UFC run, his stint in Bellator went mostly well. After a cup of tea over at Oscar de la Hoya’s MMA experiment, he’s on to a different kind of venture.

After signing with Combate Americas, it’s to be expected that a date with Tito wouldn’t come cheap. Bringing him on board practically guaranteed that the organization would make the leap to PPV, and here we are.

For an inaugural event, this is a fine card. While the main event is largely the focus, some of their most exciting talents are also on board to make this event worth checking out. Stellar prospect Melissa Martinez, hard-hitting Ricky Palacios and former tournament winner Levy Marroquin make this an event of interest, as most if not all of the fights are mostly set up for action value.

So we begin with the big one, where former UFC champ and trailblazer Tito Ortiz (20-12, 1 draw) keeps himself busy as we welcomes a returning Alberto El Patrón (a.k.a. Rodriguez, no relation, 9-5). While he had a win over former UFC fighter Brad Kohler and went 1-1 against Kengo Watanabe, he had a loss to Kaz Nakamura and the infamous Cro Cop fight. Those losses were against opponents that were a cut above, and this will be his first fight since February of 2010.

So that’s two months shy of a decade to be out of the game and take on a powerhouse wrestler with excellent cardio and good boxing, who despite his age and time in the sport stays in great shape year-round. It’s not a good recipe, even with Alberto’s excellent Greco-Roman background as a national team rep for Mexico.

Devious striker Melissa Martinez (6-0) has been looking sharper and is one of the shining starts of the organization. She’s got a game opponent ahead of her, as Desiree Yanez (5-1) is able to hang standing and on the ground. This bout is for the strawweight title, and it’ll be hard to see anyone taking it from Martinez if she aces this one.

Texas mainstay Rey Trujillo (24-27) continues to be remarkably active, and moves up to 150 to fight former Bellator fighter and Alliance rep Gaston Reyno (8-2).

Former Copa Combate tournament winner Levy Marroquin (12-3) had a four-fight win streak snuffed out in his last outing against Alejandro Flores, but has a chance to turn that around against heavy-handed Enrique Gonzalez (8-3).

Ricky Palacios (11-2) is back under the Combate banner, having knocked out Walel Watson at last year’s Golden Boy event and being submitted by Cooper Gibson back in June. He’ll be paired up against strong striker Jose Ceja (4-5).

Finally, infamous pro-wrestler Dulce Garcia (1-0, Deadspin RIP) aims to spoil the professional debut of Anali Lopez Fernandez.

You can check out the weigh-ins right here:

Full card is as follows:

Tito Ortiz vs Alberto Rodriguez - 210 lbs

Melissa Martinez vs Desiree Yanez - Strawweight

Daniel Barez vs João Camilo - Flyweight

Rey Trujillo vs Gaston Reyno - 150 lbs

Enrique Gonzalez vs Levy Marroquín - 148 lbs

Ricky Palacios vs Jose Ceja - Featherweight

Dulce García vs Anali Lopez Fernandez - 120 lbs

Luis Luna vs Victor Martinez - 157 lbs

Michael Tovar vs Elias Urbina - 190 lbs

Edmilson Freitas vs Raymond Banda - 177 lbs

Clarence Brown vs Jose Flores - 160lbs

Combate Hidalgo: Tito vs Alberto will be available for PPV over at starting this Saturday night at 9:00pm for $29.99.