UFC Signs Alberto Del Rio Despite Past Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Allegations

Alberto Del Rio is returning to MMA. According to Lucha Libre Online, the former WWE star signed a deal with UFC and will be a Spanish commentator. The report said Del Rio will be on commentator for this Saturday's UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Aspinall, which will be headlined by Alexander Volkov vs. Tom Aspinall, as mentioned by Wrestling Inc

Del Rio reportedly signed a short-term deal but could sign a bigger contract down the road. He will also call the action for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship in the near future. Del Rio has MMA experience, competing in Pride for Fighting Championships in the early 2000s. In 2019, Del Rio took on former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz and lost in the first round. 

This news comes after Del Rio was dealing with some legal issues. In December, the former WWE Champion was cleared of all kidnapping and sexual assault charges against him by his ex-girlfriend. He was arrested in May 2020 and was facing life in prison if convicted. Del Rio also was in a relationship with former WWE Superstar Paige (real name Saraya-Jade Bevis) who accused him of abuse. 

In November 2020, Del Rio spoke to TMZ and said, "It was the other way around. I have the evidence. Not just words." Del Rio went on to say that he's considering suing Paige for the allegations. "I would say Raya, why? Why? Why are you doing this Raya? And, I'm not calling you Paige because you were never Paige to me, you were Raya," Del Rio continued. "Why would you hurt me in a moment like this?"

Del Rio, 44, began competing in WWE in 2008 and was with the company until 2014. During his time in WWE, Del Rio won the WWE Championship twice, the World Heavyweight Championship twice, the United States Championship twice and the Royal Rumble match in 2011. At that time, Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked Del Rio the sixth-best pro wrestler in the world. He returned to WWE in 2015 but was released a year later. He spent time in the independent circuit and Impact Wrestling since then. It was reported in March 2020 that WWE had no interest in bringing him back. In his MMA career, Del Rio posted a 9-6 record.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.