You might remember Tito Ortiz as a surprisingly erudite and perceptive coach on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter. During that show The Huntington Beach Bad Boy came off as a thoughtful mentor whose care for his charges and fight IQ looked to lap his opposing coach—and bitter rival—Ken Shamrock.
However, since then Oritz has done his best to erase any positive impressions you might have had about him. In recent years he has drank down the Kool Aid of Trumpism. Now most that comes out of his mouth is divisive, factually incoherent and designed purely to advance the crackpot reasoning of waves of internet conspiracists whose beliefs are now spilling out of their computers and causing actual harm (and deaths) at a rate unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
Last year Ortiz was elected to the City Council of his home town in Orange County, CA. Thanks to that he now has a very public platform to express his views, which include that the COVID-19 pandemic was ‘planned’ and that masks to prevent the spread of the virus are more dangerous than the virus itself. All of this is of course nonsense.
This has resulted in constant skirmishes between Ortiz and his fellow council members. It’s also lead to City Council meetings being forced onto Zoom because of Ortiz’s refusal to wear a mask on public property.
Even though much of his agenda is spreading the falsities of a former President and the digital cult he inspired, it seems Ortiz still has some time to talk about combat sports.
Our most observant Tito-watcher, @FullContactMTWF, recently shared a clip from Ortiz on a show called Sports Matter, hosted by Jerry Coughlan. On that show Ortiz discussed Conor McGregor and, specifically, what advice he gave ‘Notorious’ during their first meeting.
Tito Ortiz reveals the advice he gave to Conor McGregor when they first met. pic.twitter.com/AanUfETS53— Borrachinha Depot (@FullContactMTWF) April 3, 2021
“I spoke to Conor McGregor after he fought Floyd Mayweather,” said Ortiz (ht bjpenn). “It was the first time I ever met him, and I said ‘Man I respect what you’re doing’ and he’s like ‘Wow, Tito Ortiz. holy shit.’ But I was like ‘No, seriously but at the end of the day don’t forget about two things. Your family and your kids’. I go, that’s what’s important. Because at the end of the day that’s what you have to go home to.”
Obviously, Ortiz has a point here. However, it’s hard to reconcile this message with what Ortiz has shown as of late. His behaviour regarding the COVID-19 pandemic has been reckless and callous in encouraging his supporters to not take the virus seriously and to do little to nothing to fight its spread. The virus has done immeasurable damage to US families, with over 554,000 reported deaths.