The legendary UFC Hall Of Famer Tito Ortiz has been seen training at the WWE Performance Center.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Ortiz was at the Performance Center all week. The Performance Center is a state of the art training WWE facility, while Ortiz is still active as a MMA fighter. Ortiz actually just had a fight with Alberto El Patrón, aka Alberto Del Rio. This was just back in December, so Ortiz is still technically active in MMA.
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However, these new reports indicate that Ortiz is actually at the Performance Center training to become a wrestler. According to Meltzer:
“Tito Ortiz is training to be a professional wrestler at the Performance Center as we speak. He was there all week and I heard great things about his work ethic, which doesn’t surprise me, his enthusiasm, which doesn’t surprise me,”Cultaholic For The Transcription
Why Is Tito Ortiz Important?
Tito Ortiz made his name as one of the most popular UFC fighters in the late ‘90s and into the 2000s. He gained popularity for his trash taking and in-your-face antics. The brash persona that he adopted was akin to one that a pro wrestler is known to have. However, Ortiz had the talent to back up his mouth and charisma. In the octagon, Ortiz became known for his conditioning and his ground-and-pound. He helped to shape future fighters and taught them the importance of conditioning along with the importance of a good takedown defense.
Not Ortiz’s First Time In The Ring
During a lull in the appeal of MMA some of Ortiz’s contemporaries went over to WWE and made a name for themselves. One being Dan Severn and the other being Ortiz’s hated rival, Ken Shamrock. Along with Tank Abbott in WCW, but his time over there was not a good run.
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This isn’t the first time Ortiz has dipped his toe in the pro wrestling pool. However, this seems to be a lot more than a toe. In the past, Ortiz has worked with TNA. First as a special guest referee and again as a member of the Aces & Eights biker faction.
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Ortiz seems to want to become one of the new crop of former UFC fighters making the transition to WWE. The most high profile being Ronda Rousey, but also including NXT standouts, Shayna Baszler and Matt Riddle. It should also be noted that Cain Velasquez made a brief WWE stint. highlighted by a feud with Brock Lesnar.
Ortiz May Be Too Old For This Wrestling Crap
It’s a little late in Ortiz’s life to be entering pro wrestling, as he’s currently 45 years old. He could be aiming to be more of a short-term wrestler, like Cain Velasquez ended up being. I would be very surprised if he was around for a long-term deal, with a lot of wrestling dates. One thing is for certain, there are millions of MMA and WWE fight fans all over the globe excitedly awaiting his decision. And we will be here to bring you the news…
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What do you think of “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz becoming a WWE wrestler? Do you think he is too old to start learning? Who would you like to see Ortiz wrestle besides Lesnar or Riddle? Let’s talk about it in the comment section and on our social media!
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Sources: Cultaholic, UFC, Wrestling Observer