There are always two-or-more sides to a person, and future UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz is no exception.
Ortiz, who not-too-long ago was seen as a cocky and arrogant fighter that was washed up and needed to leave the sport entirely, has opened a new chapter in his life.
Along with ending a long losing streak by submitting prospect Ryan Bader, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” has put himself right back in contention for the UFC light heavyweight championship heading into a contest with No. 1 contender Rashad Evans at UFC 133 in a little under two weeks.
Despite taking the fight with Evans on short notice, causing him to have less time than usual in the gym, Ortiz isn’t complaining one bit.
In fact, he is actually doing the exact opposite of what most would have expected from him.
Ortiz went out and invited 10 service members to come out to California and train with him as part of the non-profit Rehabbing with the Troops program. The effort is used to highlight the potential of troops, all of whom are recovering from severe injuries suffered during combat.
Ortiz and the wounded warriors will workout together for one week at the Punishment Training Center, providing the former champ with plenty of motivation of his own.
“The biggest thing for me is trying to change to a new life that wasn’t the way it was before,” said Chris Miller, an Army veteran and member of the program. “So, learning a lot of things over again, trying to learn what I’m capable of.”
Ortiz, who has been known to carry an American/Mexican flag to the cage before doing battle, has worked with members of the USO and Armed Forces Entertainment on several occasions.
UFC 133 takes place on Aug. 6 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.