Tito Ortiz is one of the most popular – and most controversial – martial arts competitors in the world. Born January 23, 1975 as Jacob C. Ortiz to a Mexican father and American mother, he had a rough and tumble childhood before coming under the tutelage of a legendary high school wrestling coach Paul Herrara. After placing fourth in the California State High School Championships, Ortiz went on to wrestle first in junior college and then while a student at Cal State Bakersfield.

In 1997, still in college and an amateur, Tito competed for no money in his first mixed martial arts bout, subduing his opponent in the first round with a barrage of punches. At 6’2” and 205 pounds, he quickly established a reputation as a scrappy and impudent competitor who grinds his opponents into total submission. He quickly adopted a policy of donning special t-shirts after each victory with insolent legends that insulted his opponents. Following a bruising fight against legendary UFC® competitor Guy Metzger, Ortiz wore a shirt that read “Gay Mezger Is My Bitch,” then raised an insulting finger gesture at a cluster of his opponent’s fans. These colorful deeds were to become his trademark, adding to his popularity but also engendering loathing by the fans of his opponents.

In 1999 Ortiz battled the super-aggressive Wanderlei (“The Axe Murderer”) Silva for the Ultimate Fighting Championship Light Heavyweight title and went on to defend the belt five times in the following three years, defeating all contenders including his arch-rival, Ken (“Lion’s Den”) Shamrock. He then went on a hiatus from the UFC and became a part of the professional wrestling scene when he signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as a guest referee and helped promote several celebrated championship matches.

Ortiz returned victoriously to UFC competition in April 2006 at age 31, boosting his reputation as both a colorful showman and talented athlete

Beyond Mixed Martial Arts

A native of Huntington Beach, CA, Ortiz is known as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.” In addition to his mixed martial arts career Ortiz has had roles in several feature films, most notably Cradle 2 the Grave and the controversial Turkish film Valley of the Wolves: Iraq. He also has appeared on the CBS TV series “NUMB3RS.”

His highly anticipated appearance on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” will air on NBC TV on January 3, 2008 at 9 PM. All of the winnings on the show will be donated to charity.

Ortiz is well known for his extensive charitable work especially for children in need and our U.S. troops. He visited Iraq for the first time this past summer and plans a second USO sponsored visit to Iraq this year just before the Christmas holiday. He is also frequently invited to speak at military bases across the country.

He heads his own successful sportswear firm Punishment Athletics Enterprises, Inc. (www.punishment.com). When he isn’t busy training for fights or preparing new collections, he represents the company at leading apparel trade shows.

Ortiz has also attracted public attention for his romantic relationship with adult crossover star Jenna Jameson. The Boston Herald called them “the new power couple.” Jenna has helped him by modeling for the Team Punishment clothing line, appearing in print ads with Ortiz looking very sexy in nothing but camouflage.

For further information about Tito Ortiz, please call Sarah Perkins, 212-687-1977 or email perkycomm@aol.com.

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