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5 pro-wrestlers who you didn't realise fought in MMA

Scott Newman
Modified 20 Sep 2018, 17:22 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

#1 Alberto Del Rio

Former WWE champion Alberto Del Rio has wrestled essentially all over the world, from Mexico to Japan and the USA, and while modern-day fans probably know him under his WWE name as well as under the moniker of Alberto el Patron, prior to his move to the USA in 2010 he was well-known as Dos Caras Jr, a masked luchador. Strangely enough, it was under his masked persona that he found himself in the world of MMA.

Del Rio – real name Jose Alberto Rodriguez – used his legitimate background in Greco-Roman wrestling as the backdrop for his MMA career, and initially, he saw a decent amount of success despite actually competing while wearing his lucha mask. He put together a record of 3-2 in the DEEP promotion before signing with PRIDE in 2003, and it was in the Japanese promotion where his most famous highlight took place.

Sadly for Del Rio, it wasn’t a memorable highlight as far as he was concerned. He was thrown in at the deep end – matched with the feared striker and future MMA legend Mirko Cro Cop, arguably at the peak of his powers. To the surprise of nobody, Del Rio lasted just 46 seconds before Cro Cop turned his lights out with his trademark left high kick – one of the most enduring knockouts of his career.

Another PRIDE fight followed, this time a loss to future UFC fighter Kazuhiro Nakamura, but Del Rio put up a much better account of himself in that outing. Following that, he returned largely to pro-wrestling but still moonlighted as a fighter – and ended his MMA career in 2010 with a respectable record of 9-5.

Published 20 Sep 2018, 17:22 IST
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