Combate Americas has seemingly become the perfect landing spot for professional wrestlers looking to test themselves in mixed martial arts. Their Spanish announcer and brand ambassador, Alberto “El Patron” Rodriguez, is a former World Wrestling Entertainment heavyweight champion who makes his return to MMA in December after a nine-year hiatus from the sport. In April, former Lucha Underground and AAA Lucha Libre Worldwide competitor Maria Dulce Garcia Rivas -- AKA “Sexy Star” -- made her MMA debut for the promotion. On Nov. 8, inside San Antonio’s Freeman Auditorium, Melissa Cervantes will now be the latest former professional wrestler to make the jump into a Combate Americas cage.
Fans will always have doubts about professional wrestlers when they join the sport of mixed martial arts. It is not viewed as a legitimate combat sport like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, amateur wrestling or combat sambo. Cervantes understands that. However, she wants followers of MMA to realize she is still a professional athlete, and the same athleticism that earned her success in a very physical and difficult industry like professional wrestling is the same source that drives her evolution into a full-fledged mixed martial artist.
“To get in the cage, you have to have the mentality that not everybody does. I’m a 33-year-old woman. I’m a professional athlete, and I dedicate my life to this sport right now. It’s incredible, the [amount of] time that I spend training. Watching video. Studying. If you don’t love it you wouldn’t be doing that. And I think I did it with pro wrestling, and I’m doing it now with MMA. I dedicate my life, my soul and my body to this sport. I know people might have doubts, but no matter what happens on November 8, I’m going to give 1000-percent, and everything I have.”