Tito Ortiz Avoids Jail Time, Sentenced to 36 Months Probation in DUI Case

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst IApril 30, 2014

Jul. 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Tito Ortiz reacts as he leaves the octagon following his loss to Forrest Griffin (not pictured) during a light heavyweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ortiz announced his retirement following the fight. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Bellator light heavyweight Tito Ortiz changed his not guilty plea to a no contest in order to avoid jail time in his DUI case in Los Angeles, California, today.

TMZ had the exclusive earlier this afternoon: 

"Ortiz -- who initially plead NOT GUILTY to DUI -- agreed to change his plea to no contest, and in exchange he was sentenced to 36 months probation and ordered to enroll in an alcohol education program. He was also hit with fines ... Cops say Tito blew a .12 on the breathalyzer. He had been partying at the Playboy Mansion earlier in the evening."

TMZ also scooped the initial report of when the former "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" crashed his 2012 Porsche Panamera into a concrete median at 4 a.m.

He was initially arrested on Jan. 6 and was not charged until later in the month, the report says.

Ortiz has not fought since July 2012, losing a close decision to Forrest Griffin at UFC 148. The loss marked the end of a horrendous 1-7-1 run for the ex-UFC light heavyweight champ, who retired after the bout.

However, he signed a deal with rival fight promotion Bellator one year later, though a neck injury prevented him from debuting with the company back in November, per MMA Fighting.  

The 39-year-old is set to return from a 22-month layoff at Bellator 120 on May 17, Bellator's first pay-per-view event.

The UFC Hall of Famer will square off with Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko on that card, with the 185-pounder agreeing to bump up to light heavyweight to square off with Ortiz.

Ortiz already made major headlines this week for complaining he is being erased from UFC history and for being called out by his old arch nemesis, UFC President Dana White


John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also thMMA editor for eDraft.com.