Before Alberto Del Rio(Rodriguez) was coming out in luxury vehicles with an Eddie Bauer scarf drapped over his shoulders and accompanied by his own personal ring announcer,Rodriguez was trying to make a name for himself in the world of MMA under his lucha libre name, Dos Caras Jr. Rodriguez comes from a rich lucha libre bloodline as his father, Dos Caras(meaning two faces) and his uncle Mil Mascaras(a thousand masks) were legit superstars during their days of lucha libre and were still active wrestlers as of last week. Keep in mind that Rodriguez’s father is 61 and his uncle, Mil Mascaras is 69.
Before the Mexican aristocrat decided to pursue the family tradition of Lucha Libre, he took up Greco-Roman wrestling training under Leonel Kolesni and Juan Fernandez. Greco-Roman wrestling served him well as he took 3rd place in the World Junior Championships in the the Czech Republic and also won the Central American and Caribbean games three times in his weight division at the Pan Am games. Rodriguez was to participate at the 2000 Summer Olympic games in Australia if it wasn’t for the lack of funding that Mexico had.
After his Olympic pursuit was cut short, he took his craft to the world of Mixed Martial Arts training under former fighter and founder of Ruas Vale Tudo, Marco Ruas, who many consider an early example of a complete mixed martial artist. Rodriguez started fighting professionally for the Japan DEEP in 2001 against Kengo Watanabe, a fight he won when Watanabe suffered a broken arm after taking a belly to belly suplex from Rodriguez. The video of the fights can be seen below. The great thing about Rodriguez’s MMA career, at least in my eyes, is that Rodriguez still carries the families tradition to the cage as he enters the cage with the lucha mask. Never forgetting his roots and always honoring his family by doing so.
Besides the videos below, there isn’t much video documentation on Rodriguez’s MMA encounters, even his fights while he was in WWE are nowhere to be found but judging from his record, Rodriguez did fairly well in his MMA career. Out of his 14 fights, his last fought in 2010 in Madrid, Spain, Rodriguez tallied a total of 9 wins and 5 loseses. His most notable lose is against Mirko Crocop where Rodriguez ended up going to sleep via head kick that Cro Cop
is was known for in the now defunct PRIDEFC in 2003.
If you currently watch the WWE product, you can see that Rodriguez still uses his MMA experience with his finishing move being the armbar cause really, pro-wrestling is an exhibition of legit moves. Rodriguez wouldn’t be the first MMA athlete to go from shoot style of fighting to pro-wrestling or even vice-versa. Consider this round one of former MMA fighters/Pro-Wrestlers turned Pro-Wrestlers/MMA fighters profiles that you can expect exclusively here at The Gotch Special.
Cro Cop vs Dos Caras Jr.
Dos Caras Jr. vs Tatsuo Nakano