Biography and Profile of Tito Ortiz

Tito Ortiz getting ready for a fight. Courtesy of

Tito Ortiz Biography Introduction:

People are complicated, and MMA fighter Tito Ortiz is no different. During the height of his MMA popularity between 2000-03, he regularly wore tee shirts after defeating opponents that disrespected them. Then he served as coach on TUF 3, where his ability to connect with the up and coming fighters under his tutelage and his caring attitude were on display.

So which is it? Is Ortiz a selfish guy that disrespects his opponents after fights or one that selflessly works to better fighters that could one day challenge him in the sport he's devoted his life to?

Good question.

Date of Birth:

Ortiz was born on January 23, 1975 in Huntington Beach, California.

Training Camp, Fighting Organization, and Nickname:

Ortiz trains with Team Punishment and fights for Bellator MMA. His nickname is "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy".  As of 1/31/16, Ortiz had taken home two victories in Bellator, which was a stark and positive contrast to what he had done in his final years in the UFC.

Martial Arts Background:

Ortiz began wrestling as a sophomore at Huntington Beach High School, where he finished fourth in the state high school championships as a senior. Later, he became a wrestler at both Golden West College (junior college) and later Cal State Bakersfield. He won two California state junior college titles while at Golden West.

MMA Beginnings :

Ortiz made his mixed martial arts debut for no money at UFC 13, destroying Wes Albritton in an alternate bout via TKO. In his very next contest, he lost to Guy Mezger by first round guillotine choke. From there, Ortiz won three straight, including avenging his earlier loss to Mezger via first round TKO. After the fight, as used to be customary with him, Ortiz wore a tee shirt that read "Gay Mezger is my Bitch". This infuriated Mezger's coach, Ken Shamrock, and served as the beginning of their now famous feud.

Becoming a UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and Star:

Ortiz lost his next fight to Frank Shamrock by TKO after fatiguing late in the fight. This actually compelled him to become a cardio machine later in his career, as he never wanted to feel that way in a bout again. When Shamrock vacated his belt after their fight, Ortiz went on to defeat Wanderlei Silva by decision to become champion. He then defended his belt five times, including once against Ken Shamrock (someone he would defeat on two more occasions as a fighter and once as a coach on TUF 3). During this time, Ortiz became a huge pay per view winner for the organization. But trouble lie ahead.

Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell:

Chuck Liddell eventually became the number one contender to Ortiz's UFC light heavyweight crown. However, Ortiz didn't want to fight him because they were friends, having trained together formerly. Liddell didn't really view their former acquaintance as a barrier and wanted his shot. This eventually caused the UFC to declare an interim title fight between Randy Couture and Liddell.

At UFC 47, after Ortiz had already lost his belt to Couture at UFC 44, he and Liddell finally did get it on. Ortiz fell by way of KO. At UFC 66, he once again lost to Liddell, this time by TKO.

Fighting Style:

Tito Ortiz is known for two things- excellent wrestling and ground and pound. He takes his opponents down and simply pounds them into oblivion. Though he hasn't often shown it, Ortiz also has solid Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and submission skills. He is also a technically sound stand up fighter, even if he hasn't shown much in the line of stand up power.

In the past, Ortiz displayed freakish cardio that allowed him to wear out opponents. In his more recent fights, he's been the one that has seemingly fatigued later in contests.

Personal Life:

Ortiz was the youngest of four sons born to a Mexican-American father and European-American mother.

Ortiz has a son from his earlier marriage to Kristen. He began dating former porn actress Jenna Jameson in 2006 after meeting her on MySpace. On March 16, 2009, Jameson gave birth to their twin boys, Jesse and Journey. On April 26, 2010, Ortiz was arrested for felony domestic violence at the at their home in Huntington Beach, California home. Jameson was photographed later with a bandaged arm, accusing that Ortiz had been abusive. Ortiz countered that she was erratic and addicted to OxyContin. Both have recanted their allegation since. They are no longer together, and Ortiz currently has full custody of their twins.

Some Great Tito Ortiz Moments:

  • Ortiz defeats Ryan Bader by guillotine choke at UFC 132: Ortiz was on the worst streak of his career, having lost four-of-five fights with one draw. Things were looking bleak. But then came a hard right hand that left Bader a little too disoriented to defend himself against the guillotine. And with that, Ortiz netted one of his greatest wins ever.
  • Ortiz defeats Ken Shamrock by way of TKO at UFC 40: The UFC as an organization was on the comeback trail, trying to burrow their way into mainstream consciousness. Enter a match between Ortiz and Ken Shamrock, two guys that clearly despised one another. Ortiz dominated the former standout MMA fighter, displaying those ground and pound capabilities he'd become known for. This cemented Ortiz's position as the most popular fighter in the sport at the time.
  • Ortiz defeats Wanderlei Silva by unanimous decision at UFC 25: Here's how this one went in a nutshell: Ortiz took "The Axe Murderer" down at will and pounded away at him. End of story.
  • Ortiz and his team dominate Ken Shamrock and his team on TUF 3: The fact that Ortiz outcoached this UFC legend wasn't really what made Ortiz's team's dominance noteworthy during the TUF 3 telecast. Rather, it was the way he got along with his team and worked for their benefit that did. The guy that everyone deemed so selfish from his refusal to fight Chuck Liddell earlier in his career didn't look so selfish anymore.
  • Ortiz appears on Celebrity Apprentice: When Ortiz appeared on Donald Trump's show, it demonstrated two things. First, his star power. Second, that MMA had really come a long way in popularity.