The buildup proved to be a lot more compelling than the actual fight.
Tito Ortiz smothered Alberto El Patron and recorded a first-round rear-naked choke submission in the main event of the Combate Americas pay-per-view Saturday night at Payne Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. Prior to the fight, Ortiz and El Patron put their respective former titles on the line: If Ortiz lost, he’d have to surrender his UFC championship. If El Patron suffered defeat, he’d have to relinquish his WWE belt.
Ortiz forced the latter to happen, and then he savored the moment of El Patron’s camp handing him the strap.
“Now, my goal was always to be a WWE champion, but you know what?” Ortiz said during his postfight interview. “What’s even better is I could bring my two boys who are huge WWE fans, as myself, and they could hold this belt and they’re putting it in their room. This belt’s for them.”
The bout was billed with the tagline “Which side are you on?” Ortiz is a proud supporter of President Donald Trump while El Patron has bashed the commander in chief. Ortiz’s father is of Mexican descent and El Patron is Mexican. The fight took place at the U.S.-Mexico border for good measure.
Ortiz entered the ring to Hulk Hogan’s “Real American” theme song and had a “Trump 2020” banner hanging in the backdrop to fuel the fire. Those political differences helped pave the way for El Patron to face Ortiz, although the fight itself was a dud, without nearly the amount of fireworks that were produced during the promotion of it.
El Patron scored a takedown shortly after the bell rang, but Ortiz swiftly maneuvered and took side control. That turned into a guillotine choke attempt moments later, before “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” locked in the rear naked choke. El Patron’s face was turning beet red before he tapped out just three minutes and 10 seconds into the opening frame.
The former UFC champion had overwhelmed El Patron in la jaula (Spanish for the cage). Ortiz has one more fight with Combate remaining, although his opponent hasn’t been announced.