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Politics

Tito Ortiz, Former UFC Champ And Total Kook, Now Holds Public Office

Tito gives an interview on the campaign trail.
Screenshot: YouTube

For the first time in Huntington Beach’s history, the Orange County city will be represented by someone who has been fired on The Celebrity Apprentice.

On Election Day, semi-active MMA fighter Tito Ortiz came out on top of a 15-person race for three spots on the city council of his hometown, which he once called “the safest world in the United States.” Ortiz was the only GOP-backed candidate to win a spot on the council; he ran a campaign to “Make Huntington Beach Safe Again,” which should give you a good sense of where this is going.

Ortiz spent his MMA career as a brash heel, becoming one of the biggest stars in the sport’s wild early days by most capably excelling at both pro wrestling theatrics and actual fighting. He sold feuds with contemporaries like Chuck Liddell and Frank Shamrock by talking wild, often incomprehensible shit, and he has carried that sensibility over into his political career. Ortiz has campaigned with Donald Trump’s family and has even been shouted out by the president himself.

This summer, Ortiz set out to become a cop and then the mayor of Huntington Beach, eventually settling on city council once he learned that the city council picks the mayor. He was endorsed by most of the Orange County Republican establishment. Ortiz’s campaign kicked off amid a nationwide protest movement against police brutality, which he used as a springboard to launch himself as a law-and-order candidate. “They’re going to come down and burn this city down,” Ortiz said of protestors at a rally. “They’re going to rape the women and the children.”

The rest of Ortiz’s politics share a similar valence: He’s become a big QAnon guy after finding out about it from a commenter on an Instagram live broadcast; he is anti-mask; he thinks George Floyd’s death was an op; he thinks the United States have been around for “800, 900 years”; his first order of business seems to be getting unhoused people out of Huntington Beach ASAP; and he claims the coronavirus was made in a lab by leftists to cull the old people and that “respirators” are “speeding up the process of COVID.” (We owe @FullContactMTWF a huge shoutout here for tirelessly chronicling Tito’s deranged behavior, like an MMA-specific Daniel Dale.)

Ortiz’s conspiracy-mongering fits within the larger context of Ortiz saying startlingly and impressively dumb things. Some of his hits:

Ortiz says he will be a city councilor and an active fighter at the same time, and he plans to start a training camp soon. He’s just setting up the foundation for a 2022 California gubernatorial bid. (Is that joke tongue-in-cheek? Who knows at this point!)