Jacob “Tito” Ortiz
Jacob “Tito” Ortiz powered his way to the top of the Ultimate Fighting game unlike any other fighter of today. Starting from very humble beginnings and keeping his heritage strong along the way. Tito has become the world’s most famous face of MMA and a multimillion-dollar brand in the process.
“Tito”, Spanish for” tyrant” was a name chosen for him by his father. Ortiz had a rough start, with both parents suffering from drug addiction, and his life bounced him around from living in trailer parks, motels and garages. Realizing that he had to get away from the life that many kids around him were living, a life of hustling the streets, Tito threw himself into sports and began wrestling in high school, which he continued at Golden West College and Cal State Bakersfield. While still in college, Tito competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championships in 1997 as an amateur for no prize money and won his first ever fight in 31 seconds.
For Tito, this was the beginning of a long run of battles in the UFC and after 3 years of competing and only 6 professional fights, he won the Light Heavyweight Championship by defeating Wanderlei Silva at UFC 25 in Japan. He would go on to defend his championship 6 times over the next 3 years until losing to fellow legend Randy Couture at UFC 44. He has since fought some of the highest profile fights in UFC history, with main event battles against the likes of Ken Shamrock and Chuck Lidell. He coached the 3rd and 11th seasons of The Ultimate Fighter and this is when fans got to know the real Tito Ortiz as a person and coach and his popularity grew even stronger as an unparalleled fan favorite. In 2012, he was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame as well as the UFC Hall of Fame which is also when he announced his retirement from the UFC.