Tito Ortiz: The Huntington Beach Bad Boy No More

November 30, 2011
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Tito Ortiz
When UFC announcer Bruce Buffer calls former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz‘s name in Toronto next weekend, for the first time in forever, he won’t be calling out “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.”

Ortiz, who faces Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on the main card of UFC 140, is moving on from his younger days of talking trash on opponents to build fights and putting his old moniker to bed.

He’s now fighting for his fans, his family, and for the future, putting the negativity behind him.

“No longer the bad boy, positive from here on out. I’m now the ‘People’s Champ,'” Ortiz told MMAWeekly Radio.

When explaining the change in nicknames, Ortiz says it all comes down to positivity over negativity. For years, he was known as the fighter with the biggest mouth who had no problem running down his opponents to help sell a pay-per-view.

Now Ortiz maintains his status as one of the most well known fighters in the sport, and he’s hoping to turn things around with a sunnier outlook towards the future.

“I just want to change my whole outlook on life. Being the bad boy, talking smack to sell fights, I no longer need to do that,” said Ortiz. “I’ve got three boys who are growing up and I want to make sure I’m known as someone who has given back to MMA and been a positive role model to a lot of people’s lives.”

Ortiz looked towards another legend in sports history for who he should model himself after.

“Being the ‘People’s Champ,’ the only other person I can think of who’s done the great things in their sport was Muhammad Ali. If I could walk in one of those footsteps, then I’ve done my job as a fighter and a mixed martial artist,” Ortiz stated.

Like Ortiz, Ali was obviously never afraid to speak his mind or open his mouth when it came time to sell a fight. When people talk about Ali now, though, he’s looked at not only as possibly the greatest boxer to ever live, but simply an icon of sports that’s transcended his goals as a pugilist in the ring.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion hopes to one day be remembered in a similar light, and so he’s moving on from the past as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” to just being Tito Ortiz.

“I believe so, it’s time to grow up, it’s time to mature as a man, as a father. I’ve done a lot in this sport. I know my road’s coming up short here where it’s really time to think about the future. I’ve been competing for almost 15 years; I think the longest UFC fighter in history, competing more than anybody else and for the longest record non-stop fighting in the UFC. I never fought anywhere else. No amateur status, nowhere else besides the UFC, that’s all I’ve fought and I just want to keep that positive attitude,” Ortiz said.

“Fulfill my career as a UFC fighter and look towards the future.”

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  • wonggfan

    “Like Ortiz, Ali was obviously never afraid to speak his mind or open his mouth when it came time to sell a fight.”





  • zacharydetal

    The People’s Champ? That nickname belongs to The Rock.

  • I said ‘like Ali’ in regards to selling a fight. Read the very next line about the iconic status that Ali achieved and how Tito hopes to get there.

    • wonggfan

      Why not compare him to someone else who is all talk but no walk?

      Bottomline is, don’t even use Ali and Tito in the sentence.

      Tito has no serious fans. All his fans are either latino, has Tito fetish, or just doesn’t understand MMA. Most people watch his fight to see him get is ass whooped. So far he hasn’t received the beating that people want to see. But just wait a year. He is gonna get pummeled by someone.

      Tito + MIC = ?

      • Smarty

        Why not let him do his job while you keep your negative comments to yourself? Who died and made you the world’s authority figure??

  • McMens

    Tito is as big headed as ever he deserves to get smashed for comments like that. And “People’s Champ” what an idiot

  • tomkevill

    Lets compare Tito Ortiz to Wonggfan. Ok, now Tito seems amazing.

    Actually im a fan of him in the ring. i dont care about what fighters say or who they are outside of the ring since i dont know them at all. I hope he puts a good fight in with little nog though and think he can win easily if he takes him down and drops them elbows.

    • wonggfan

      Let’s compare tomkevill WITH Tito Ortiz.

      One is a **** fighter and the other one worships him.

      BTW, the idiomatic phrase in this context is compare X with Y and not compare X to Y.

      Go google the difference if you don’t know.

      Lol at someone admitting to be a Tito fan.

      You sound really really dumb btw.

    • Smarty

      tomkevil: Very funny! I love it!!!

  • If Tito stops being the dbag he was back in the day then that is awesome, but you cant just name yourself the People’s Champion. Unless you are a character in a fictional wrestling story.

  • MikeMc1983

    Good lord. No one compared Ali, and Tito in a way that characterized them as being comparable athletes. If anything, Damon narrowed the comparison that Tito made. He just said they both say how they feel. Its just a tie in to the quote Ortiz made. It’s also quite possiably accurate. I don’t know whether Ali, or Ortiz actually say how they feel, but I understand how it’s assumed. Some people just can’t stay away from the soap box.
    By the way, just in case Wong tries to attack this post, eveyone be aware I don’t have a degree. (damn, I should say that. I just took wongs “witty” material.) 😉

  • Does anyone else think that wong is Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons? Fat, bald, ponytail. Eating pizza at the computer. Worst. Post. Ever.

    • Smarty


      That’s exactly how I have him pictured. He obviously has no life. All he does is insult people and call everyone names. What ever happened to them moderating this site for comments? I guess he knows someone that runs the site.

  • wonggfan the trash that Ali talked to Frazier was really classy. NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Trash talk isnt ment to be classy. Ask Sonnen. Its meant to sell fights

  • ajmadic

    lol, wonggfan is a fa*. Just like Tito.

    • Smarty

      That’s an insult to Tito!!! Tito is way better and worth far more than that fool!

      • ajmadic

        Very true.

  • wyldenate

    The funny thing is regardless if Tito Ortiz has fans or not he is one of the most iconic fighters in MMA today cause of the persona he displays. Love him or hate him but you are taking the time out of your short lifes to either praise him or dog him. Tito isn’t where he is in life cause he is a dumb guy, he is a marketing genius. As far as the Ali is classy comment goes get over it, Ali was not classy when it came to hyping up a fight! Do your research on Ali and look up the definition to persona!

  • bajafox

    I’m still a fan of Tito and I hope he sticks around a few more years

  • Tito was good in his hay-day but come on….comparing himself to Ali is ridiculous.

  • Really nice to see the positive direction Tito is taking.

  • fanatic_mma

    Tito was the man in his prime. Check out my Blog post at


    I’m new to blogging so let me know your thoughts!

  • Prodigy815

    Tito is trying to show humility after being humiliated. People’s Champ my ass.

  • MrAdidas

    Okay people, it’s time to relax. Tito isnt comparing himself with Ali in regards to skil set or whatever else you could be thinking. Tito said and I quote… “the only other person I can think of who’s done the great things in their sport was Muhammad Ali”. He wants to do for MMA, what Ali did for boxing and Tito would like to be knwon as a role model & NOT an a** hole.

    I dont know how anyone could read this article & actually think Tito was comparing himself with Ali, in regards to skill. FYI: Tito only called himself the “peoples champ” b/c he’s figthing for THE PEOPLE/fans – hence the word PEOPLES Champ. Rather than being all about him/Tito, he wants to “give back” & have people talk about him like they do about Ali, even many years after he last boxed. That’s all Tito was trying to say, he wants to be remembered like Ali was/is when people think about boxing, for Tito it’s MMA.

  • Eudo

    As always wanting to appear, why not retire Fighter project and is still wanting to be compared with Ali, managed to defend the title in the ufc at the time there were many fighters median, Yuki Kondo, Evan Tanner, Elvis Sinosic and the great Ken Shamrock has with old age, because they do not lose easily in the golden days. You should change the name to “Huntington clown”!