Tito Ortiz, who has been an a hardcore Donald Trump supporter, has jumped from one conspiracy to another in the last couple of years. More recently, the decorated UFC Hall-of-Famer has used his platform to spread baseless and dangerous theories on topics including COVID-19 denials, vaccines and QAnon conspiracies.
Ortiz has since decided to not only promote these conspiracies, but also make money off of it. The 45-year-old constantly promoted his Punishment Athletics clothing line from back in his days as UFC champion, and now he is selling QAnon apparel through that brand.
Below are some screenshots from his website, where his QAnon apparel are being sold from $19.95 to $21.95. (HT: @FullContactMTWF)
The tank tops and t-shirts have “WWG1WGA” on them, which stands for “where we go one we go all,” a slogan used exclusively by QAnon supporters.
Ortiz, who also sells Trump 2020 merch on his website, first found out about QAnon during a random Instagram live session late last year. This is his reaction:
December 2019— Borrachinha Depot (@FullContactMTWF) August 6, 2020
Tito learns about QAnon while on Instagram Live. Shortly thereafter, he starts frequently sharing QAnon-related posts on social media. (6/?) pic.twitter.com/Jxv5ldZqkj
For those unfamiliar with the pro-Trump conspiracy group, Bloody Elbow’s Karim Zidan discussed it when QAnon symbols made it to ESPN’s UFC broadcast:
QAnon emerged in October 2017 following an anonymous post on the 4chan forum by someone who went by the name Q. The poster alleged to have access to classified information involving the Trump administration, which included false accusations of Democratic politicians and Hollywood actors participating in an international child sex trafficking ring. The baseless theory, which lacks in any evidence whatsoever, also goes by the name The Storm and The Great Awakening.
While QAnon continues to thrive primarily on the internet, it appears to have a growing body of adherents, an expanding infrastructure, and even merchandise available on Amazon, Etsy and others. And despite its lack of evidence-based theories, it continues to sustain its movement and attract new followers.
Given QAnon’s determined belief in a deep state conspiracy against President Trump, the FBI recently labeled the shadowy network a potential domestic terror threat.
Apart from Dana White’s close friend and cutman sporting those QAnon symbols, these conspiracies are seemingly quite popular with many established figures in the sport of mixed martial arts.
Jackson Wink Academy had a QAnon flag on its rooftop last June. UFC star Jorge Masvidal used a QAnon hashtag while spreading fake quotes about Donald Trump, while also telling people to do your “research” on it. Several other MMA stars have also repeatedly shared QAnon related conspiracies about “pizzagate” and “wayfair” on social media. This includes the likes of women’s MMA superstar and Star Wars actress Gina Carano, former UFC champ Rich Franklin, ONE champion Brandon Vera, and many others.
Vox also previously analyzed a QAnon subreddit, finding that nearly 900 comments were posted by people who were most active in the MMA, fitness, and Joe Rogan subreddits.