Alberto Del Rio knows what it's like to transition between MMA and pro wrestling as he has done it multiple times in his career. He competed in MMA in Japan early in his career before embarking on a successful wrestling career and is now making a return to MMA with Combate Americas.
Another athlete making that transition is Thunder Rosa who has wrestled for Lucha Underground and ROH, but recently had her first MMA fight under Combate Americas. Wrestling Inc. asked Del Rio about Rosa's transition during a recent media event.
"You have to turn off the pro wrestling switch and start throwing punches 100 percent. I give her a lot of credit. She's been wanting to do this for quite some time. And it's not easy for someone that was in the pro wrestling business, and just from one day to the other make the transition to MMA...it's really difficult.," said Del Rio.
"Some people know this, some others don't, but for me it wasn't that way. I started in amateur wrestling and I competed for many years in tournaments all over the world, and then I became a pro wrestler. Pro wrestler to MMA, MMA back to pro wrestler. I know she's going to be doing fantastic in San Antonio, my hometown. She's been training for this for many months. We have been supporting her as athletes in the company with Campbell and everyone else. I'm pretty sure she completely turned off the pro wrestling switch and started training because this is MMA and everything goes."
In her debut fight Rosa went the distance and lasted all three rounds against Nadine Mandiau. But Rosa came up short and lost via unanimous decision with a 30-27 score from all of the judges.