Tito Ortiz is done with political office after a brief six-month reign as the mayor of Huntington Beach, Calif.
The former UFC champion, who was sworn in as mayor for his hometown this past December, ultimately stepped down in June while offering his resignation after claiming he was a victim of “character assassination” and the constant attacks led him to fear for the safety of his family.
Ortiz was originally elected after earning more than 42,000 votes — the most in the history of the Huntington Beach City Council — but his constant clashes with fellow councilmen and women became a huge distraction over time. At one point back in February, Ortiz was nearly ousted from the job after he refused to wear a face mask to council meetings.
Now as he prepares to face off with Anderson Silva in a boxing match for Triller Fight Club on Sept. 11, Ortiz says his days as a politician are over.
“That part of my life ended,” Ortiz said during a Triller press conference on Monday. “I got a taste of how dirty that stuff is and I just tried to help my city.
“At the end of the day, with what our country’s going through right now, people say don’t talk about politics but the future of my children is my No. 1 [priority]. That’s all I tried to do was help here in Huntington Beach and I couldn’t let it happen.”
Ortiz ran under the campaign slogan “Make Huntington Beach Safe Again,” which was an obvious homage to former president Donald Trump and his “Make America Great Again” campaign. Ortiz was a very outspoken supporter of former President Trump both during his campaign and his time in office as well.
Even prior to his election, Ortiz had already ruffled a lot of feathers while calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” and later saying the pandemic was a “political scam.”
Much like he said in his remarks while resigning from the post, Ortiz stated that the personal attacks on his character eventually led to his decision to leave the mayoral office.
The overall experience led Ortiz to believe that politics just wasn’t the business for him.
“I got attacked non-stop, every single week, it was either in the news or the newspaper,” Ortiz said. “When they started attacking my character, assassinating my character, that’s when I knew I needed to walk away. I was making $1,200 a month to sit there and make decisions for the city.
“It wasn’t worth my time and I apologize for all the people who did vote for me. I had almost 45,000 people who voted for me, the most in Huntington Beach history but once again I’m an honest man trying to do an honest job and politics, you can’t be an honest man and do those things. Cause when you keep your word, other people don’t like that.”
With politics in his rearview mirror, Ortiz appears happy to focus on boxing for now as he prepares to clash with Silva in the co-main event for the upcoming card headlined by Oscar De La Hoya’s return from retirement against former UFC champion Vitor Belfort.
“When you’re not a part of the agenda, you get cancelled out and is what it is. It’s behind me now,” Ortiz said about his short political career.
“Once again, I’m just thankful for Thriller giving me this opportunity to let me showcase my skills as the athlete I truly am.”