Make note MMA fans, Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Tito Ortiz will henceforth no longer be colloquially known as The Huntington Beach Bad Boy, but as The People’s Champ.
The 36-year-old former light heavyweight champion explained recently to ESPN why his incredible upset win over Ryan Bader prompted him to take a page out of The Rock’s book and adopt the mantle of The People’s champ.
“It meant that everything had paid off. My whole legacy, my whole career depended on that fight. I trained really hard and had some great guys around me training with me. It was almost like winning my world title. A lot of people didn’t believe in me. A lot of people couldn’t believe that I was still here,” said Ortiz. “I had neck surgery, lower back surgery and a lot of athletes don’t compete after that. I showed that I’m able to compete against the best guys in the world, and I think that will help show people that if they believe in themselves, if they believe in their dream, they can accomplish anything. That’s why I changed my name to The People’s Champ. I want everyone to know that I’m here for the fans. I want them to know that they can bounce back from anything.”
Ortiz is currently on deck to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on December 10 at UFC 140; he’ll be looking to get back on track with a win after losing to Rashad Evans in his most recent outing.