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Wild Rumor of The Day: Bellator Is Interested in Signing Alberto Rodriguez, AKA Alberto Del Rio/Dos Caras Jr.

(It’s still “As Real As It Gets” to me, damn it!)

By Seth Falvo

Mention the name “Alberto Rodriguez” to the average MMA fan, and you’ll likely be met with a blank stare. Mention “Alberto Del Rio,” and there’s a distinct possibility that said fan will rant and rave about CM Punk, fake wrestling and the sanctity of guys with bad tattoos punching each other inside of a cage being destroyed. Mention “Dos Caras Jr,” and you’ll almost assuredly engage said fan in a discussion about the freak show awesomeness and/or awfulness of PRIDE.

That those three names all belong to the same person is almost irrelevant when compared to the reactions that those names bring out. That Bellator is rumored to be interested in signing the man shouldn’t surprise you slightly. Via The Wrestling Observer (by way of UPROXX):

“We can confirm that Bellator is looking to sign professional wrestlers to fighter contracts. Alberto Del Rio is one of their targets of interest.

As previously reported, WWE tried to include MMA in their no-compete clause when he was let go from the company. Del Rio reportedly agreed to certain parts of the no-compete clause; it isn’t known whether MMA was part of that. FOX Sports writer Damon Martin posted the following to Twitter, claiming that Del Rio is “itching for a fight”

“Sources within Spike TV and those close to Bellator MMA claim that the promotion has a plan to bring in professional wrestlers as MMA fighters. The company has what is described as a “gameplan” to bring in current and former wrestlers to bolster their roster. Bobby Lashley is currently part of the promotion.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “DOS CARAS JR. IS COMING TO BELLATOR! DOS CARAS JR. IS COMING TO BELLATOR! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!” But let’s over-analyze this rumor, shall we?

Why It’s Potentially True: Unlike the UFC, Bellator isn’t flip-flopping on whether it wants to be the most credible major sports organization or the most credible celebrity boxing organization on a weekly basis. Bellator is brutally honest about what it’s trying to be: It’s trying to be the freak show promotion (with the occasional legitimate prospect) that modern MMA both needs and deserves. The UFC just signed a former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, so why wouldn’t Bellator want to sign a former WWE World Heavyweight Champion of their own?

Why It’s Potentially False: Rodriguez is arguably the hottest free agent in professional wrestling right now. Bellator’s quirky partnership with TNA Impact! Wrestling is dissolving, and something tells me that the suits at Viacom aren’t going to be okay with allowing him to wrestle on the independent circuit while under contract with Bellator. Unless Bellator signs Rodriguez to a big money contract – and not just “big by MMA’s standards” – it won’t financially make sense for him to sign on with Bellator.

The Case For Alberto Rodriguez: As we’ve mentioned before, Rodriguez is a far better fighter than his “Cro Cop victim” reputation would lead you to believe. His lifetime MMA record currently stands at 9-5, with seven of his victories coming by submission. He’s also an accomplished amateur wrestler, too. Basically, what I’m trying to say is don’t start comparing Rodriguez to CM Punk, because the comparison both begins and ends at “they’re former WWE World Heavyweight Champions.”

The Case Against Alberto Rodriguez: He’s thirty-seven years old, and hasn’t had a professional MMA fight in nearly five years. Also, the whole “will probably want to keep wrestling professionally while under contract” thing.

So When Brock Lesnar Fights Bobby Lashley And Breaks All of the PPV Records…:  Lesnar will be dominating Lashley, until one of the announcers shouts “WHAT ON EARTH IS ALBERTO RODRIGUEZ DOING IN THE BELLATOR ZONE?!” as Rodriguez makes his way to the cage, holding a steel chair. Rodriguez will tease hitting Lesnar with it, then turn and smack Lashley’s downed body. Will it be the beginning of an unstoppable heavyweight duo set on destroying Bellator once and for all? We’ll find out tomorrow night on Nitro Bellator!

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