July 29, 2008 – Scottsdale, AZ – Mixed martial arts champ Tito Ortiz put the headlock on Arizona blood shortages this past weekend when he hosted the Ultimate Blood Drive III at Metrocenter. Thanks to a great response from fight fans, enthusiastic blood donors and the media, more than 350 people from across Arizona and surrounding states volunteered to roll up their sleeves this past Saturday. Each donor was thanked in person by Ortiz and provided an autographed photo. Gabriel Ortiz (no relation), a high school physical education teacher and baseball coach from Yuma, was the lucky donor to win the raffle for lunch with the champ. Several other donors won apparel from his Punishment Athletics clothing line. But the ultimate winners were the Arizona hospital patients who will receive the 263 pints of blood donated at the event.
Ortiz may be known as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy,” but much of his time and energy outside the fighting arena is dedicated to charitable activities. Through the “Ultimate Blood Drive III,” he helped United Blood Services knock out the traditional decline in donations during the toughest month of the summer to meet patient needs. Many regular donors take off for cooler destinations this time of year, reducing the available donor pool by as much as 25%. Ortiz challenged his fans to step up and save lives. “Some fans look up to me as a hero, but here’s a chance for everyone to be real heroes by giving blood,” he said. “Remember, if you fight Tito Ortiz, you lose. But we can all be winners for Arizona hospital patients!”
About Tito Ortiz
Jacob “Tito” Ortiz is a legendary MMA fighter. His career has been mostly within the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization where he was Light-Heavyweight champion and became one of the UFC’s shining stars. He is admired as both a colorful showman and talented athlete. Tito’s acting ability and charisma have earned him roles in several films and TV series, including NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” and the CBS TV series “NUMB3RS.” Ortiz is also a passionate supporter of U.S. soldiers. He recently traveled to the Persian Gulf under the sponsorship of the USO to meet with troops on duty there. Additionally, he spends time giving motivational talks to high school students and works with teen groups. For more information, visit www.titoortiz.com.
About United Blood Services
United Blood Services has been Arizona’s non-profit community blood provider since 1943 and serves patients in 50 Arizona hospitals. The UBS network is one of the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit blood service organizations, and is a founding member of America’s Blood Centers and the American Association of Blood Banks. For more information on how to “Be a Hero,” please call 1-877-448-GIVE (4483) or visit www.UnitedBloodServices.org/Arizona.