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MMA Legend Tito Ortiz Resigns as Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 2, 2021

Phillip Faraone/FilmMagic

Former UFC star Tito Ortiz stepped down from his position as mayor pro tempore in Huntington Beach, California, on Tuesday.

According to TMZ Sports, Ortiz said during a city council meeting, "To put it simply, this job isn't working for me."

TMZ Sports first reported in February that Ortiz was facing a potential vote for his removal as mayor pro tem after being unanimously elected to the position in December.

Ortiz had also been a Huntington Beach City Council member since November, but he resigned from that role as well Tuesday night.

As mayor pro tem, Ortiz would have been called upon to perform mayoral duties had Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr been unable to do so.

In February, Carr and city council members Mike Posey and Dan Kalmick requested a vote of no confidence in Ortiz:

"Unfortunately, Mr. Ortiz has failed to perform at a level expected for this position and has demonstrated little commitment to serving in the role with honor and dignity.

"His unprofessional demeanor and poor judgement have raised concerns among residents, local business owners, and his fellow council members. The Huntington Beach community expects local elected officials to take their governing responsibilities seriously and we whole heartedly agree."

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At the time, it was reported that Ortiz refused to follow COVID-19 protocols by attempting to enter a planning meeting as well as a restaurant without a mask.

It was also alleged last month that Ortiz attempted to file for unemployment despite holding a paid position, although he has denied any wrongdoing.

On Tuesday, Ortiz said he had been met with "hostility and judgment" and was the subject of "character assassination each and every week" as a city council member and mayor pro tem.

Ortiz added:

"I ran for this position with hopes to better my community, work on my constituents and give them a voice, making our beautiful city safe and clean and to ensure a bright future for my children.

"I was under a notion that I was in a bipartisan position and that we all had a common goal that our city and our constituents could have. As of recent, the attacks against me have moved to involve my family. I now feel that their safety is in danger."

The 46-year-old Ortiz, who was a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, is better known for his MMA career than his time in politics.

Ortiz was an active fighter from 1997 to 2019 and posted a 21-12-1 record. He held the UFC light heavyweight title from 2000 to 2003, and he fought for the Bellator light heavyweight title in 2015.

"The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" faced many of the biggest names in MMA during his career, including Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort, Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans and Chael Sonnen.

His most recent fight was a win over former WWE Superstar Alberto "Del Rio" El Patron at Combate Americas 51 in 2019.

Per TMZ Sports, Ortiz plans to continue living in Huntington Beach despite resigning from his position.

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