FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Tito Ortiz’s run in politics has hit the last stop.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion and mayor pro tem of Huntington Beach has confirmed he’s done with politics and back to what he knows best – fighting.
Ortiz returns to action this Saturday at Triller Fight Club Legends II, as he’s set to take on fellow ex-UFC titleholder Anderson Silva in a 195-pound bout in the co-main event of the card. This marks Ortiz’s first fight back since getting elected and then resigning from his position as mayor pro tem.
“One-hundred percent my political is over,” Ortiz told MMA Junkie. “I’m too honest. I’m too much of an honest man and I have to look in the mirror at night and tell my kids the things I believe in and I can’t tell them one thing and do another.
“I’m not here to scratch somebody’s back just so they can scratch mine. I’m here to do the right thing and live in America with freedom and pride and integrity that we have in this country.”
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Ortiz was sworn in as a councilman in December. He was elected with more than 42,000 votes — the most in a council race in the city’s history. Throughout his tenure, Ortiz was often seen at odds with council members due to his refusal to wear a mask among other things.
He resigned in June, citing “character assassination” and fear for the safety of his family.
“It was just disgusting,” Ortiz said. “I can’t believe I brought myself to that level. I tried to help Huntington beach and just try to focus on the future of my children. I lived in Huntington Beach all my life and this was the first time I thought about selling my house and moving to Florida just because of the politics there are disgusting. What Gavin Newsom is doing to our state is just embarrassing. When they recall him in September I’ll be very happy.”
For now, Ortiz is relieved to have his political career in the rear-view mirror and hid fighting career ahead. The 46-year-old told MMA Junkie he’s now a free agent following his fight against Silva. The Triller debut will count as the last fight on his Combate Global contract, sources told MMA Junkie.
“I plan on going back to MMA,” Ortiz explained. “My contract with Combate Global is done after this fight. I’m a free agent. I feel young, I feel reinvigorated. I feel like a new man. I feel totally different just because all the things that I’ve gone through in my life have been so toxic.
“Now that I’ve been happy for the last eight years, just look at my record. I think I’ve only lost one fight in the last eight years and I’ve really focused on getting my mind and body right and continue to fight. I want to take advantage of the next year or two years.”
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