Nickname Huntington Beach Bad Boy
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg/14.6 st)
Born January 23, 1975
Fighting out of Huntington Beach, California, USA
Town of birth Huntington Beach, California
Team/Association Team Punishment
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout 8
By submission 2
No contests 0
Jacob Christopher "Tito" Ortiz (born January 23, 1975) is a Mexican American mixed martial artist and former Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter from Huntington Beach, California. As the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion from April 14, 2000 to September 26, 2003. Ortiz emerged as one of the sport's biggest stars, becoming the biggest pay-per-view draw of 2006 and appearing on the covers of various magazines. Ortiz is the CEO of the Punishment Athletics clothing and mixed martial arts equipment line.
Tito is the youngest of four sons born to a Mexican-American father and a white American mother, and his mixed heritage is reflected in his ring entrances as he bears both Mexican and American flags. Ortiz has a son from his marriage to his ex-wife, Kristen. He is now dating former adult film actress, Jenna Jameson, who is pregnant with his child. Ortiz began his martial arts career as a wrestler in his sophomore year of high school in Huntington Beach, California. Under coach Paul Herrera, Ortiz finished fourth in the state high school championships as a senior. Following high school, Ortiz continued his wrestling career, winning a California state junior college title for Golden West College. Following his stint at Golden West, Ortiz wrestled at Cal State Bakersfield. Ortiz trained with future NCAA, World, and Super Bowl champion Stephen Neal. Tito has written a book called "THIS IS GONNA HURT - The Life of a Mixed Martial Arts champion".
Ortiz's mixed martial arts debut was at UFC 13 in 1997. Still in college, Ortiz competed as an amateur for no prize money or contracts. He beat Wes Albittron in an alternate bout by referee stoppage at 0:31 of the first round. He was selected to face Guy Mezger in the Lightweight final after Enson Inoune could not continue due to injury. Ortiz lost the fight at 2:00 in the first round by submisson. After returning with TKO victories over Jeremy Screeton at West Coast NHB Championships 1, and Jerry Bohlander at UFC 18, Tito avenged his loss to Mezger at UFC 19 by TKO in round 1.
In 1999 Ortiz fought Frank Shamrock for the UFC middleweight (205 lb) title at UFC 22, losing via submission due to strikes. Following the victory, Shamrock retired and vacated the championship. The middleweight division was then renamed the light heavyweight division and Ortiz was chosen, along with Wanderlei Silva, as a top contender.
Ortiz defeated Wanderlei Silva for the vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 25 via unanimous decision. He went on to defend the belt a record five times in the following three years, defeating Yuki Kondo, Evan Tanner, Elvis Sinosic, Vladimir Matyushenko and Lion's Den head Ken Shamrock.
At UFC 44, after a near year-long layoff from the sport, Ortiz fought the new interim light heavyweight champion Randy Couture, who had defeated Chuck Liddell for the interim title at UFC 43 in September 2003. Couture defeated Ortiz via unanimous decision. The loss ended Ortiz's near three and a half year title reign, which is still the longest light heavyweight championship reign since the title's inception in 1997.
Following his loss to Couture, Ortiz faced Chuck Liddell at UFC 47, losing by second round knockout. After six months off, Ortiz returned and took a unanimous decision victory over newcomer Patrick Côté at UFC 50, and a split decision over Vitor Belfort at UFC 51.
In February 2005, Ortiz took time away from the UFC and was offered deals with several promotions, including PRIDE Fighting Championships and the Don King-backed World Fighting Alliance, but none came to fruition. Ortiz opted to try his hand at professional wrestling, signing with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as a guest referee.
In November 2005, Dana White announced that Ortiz and Ken Shamrock would coach The Ultimate Fighter 3 reality TV series on Spike TV, which premiered in April of 2006.
Ortiz's first fight in his return occurred at UFC 59 on April 15, 2006 against previous The Ultimate Fighter 1 winner Forrest Griffin. Ortiz won via split decision.
His next fight was against Ken Shamrock at UFC 61 on July 8, 2006, a match which was to conclude a main storyline in The Ultimate Fighter 3. Ortiz won in the first round by TKO due to a stoppage by referee Herb Dean due to strikes. Shamrock protested that the stoppage was early. On August 25, 2006, at the UFC 62 weigh-ins, Dana White announced a rematch between Ortiz and Shamrock for October 10, 2006 on Spike TV, as the main event of Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter. Ortiz beat Shamrock for the third time in this fight, which was stopped in the first round due to strikes.
Ortiz's rematch with Chuck Liddell (for the UFC Light Heavyweight championship) at UFC 66 (December 30, 2006) ended in defeat via referee stoppage in the third round.
He then fought against The Ultimate Fighter 2 winner Rashad Evans on July 7, 2007 at UFC 73. The fight ended in a draw after Ortiz was penalized for grabbing the fence.
Ortiz' last fight on his contract with the UFC was an unanimous decision loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 84 on May 24, 2008. The fight concluded Ortiz's stay with the promotion as he choose not to re-sign, citing his frustration with UFC-president Dana White as a major factor in the decision.
After leaving the UFC Ortiz has been approached by multiple promotions, including EliteXC, Affliction and the American Fight League, but he has yet to sign a deal with any of them - and is still considered by some to be a free agent.
In May 2005, Ortiz agreed to appear with the professional wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
On May 15, 2005 at TNA Hard Justice Ortiz served as special guest referee in the NWA World Heavyweight Championship title match between Jeff Jarrett and A.J. Styles at the behest of Director of Authority Dusty Rhodes. Ortiz (kayfabe) knocked out Jeff Jarrett with a right hook after Jarrett shoved him. This allowed Styles to hit his "Spiral Tap" for the pinfall victory and claim the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Jarrett. Ortiz returned to wrestling to referee an NWA World Heavyweight Championship match between Jeff Jarrett and Rhino on October 23, 2005 at the TNA Bound for Glory PPV.
Ortiz has also had fights as a submission wrestler and in 2000 he competed in the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling tournament. He finished in third place after winning 4 fights and losing his semi-final match to Ricardo Arona in a decision. During the tournament he defeated Matt Hughes, Mike van Arsdale, Rumina Sato, and Rostyslav Borysenko.