Looks like mixed martial arts legend Tito Ortiz will end his UFC career on July 7 when he faces rival Forrest Griffin in Las Vegas for the third time.
Then it's on to the next chapter in his life.
"I'm starting to take acting classes already," said Ortiz, who has been fighting for 15 years and has made a few cameos in movies. "I have to go where my heart lies. I'm not fading away. I just turned 37. I'm ready for my next career."
Ortiz (16-10-1) held the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship for three years (2000 to 2003) and was one of early stars of the sport. But injuries started taking a toll, and Ortiz wants to make sure he's still able to play with his three children. On Friday night, he's commentating for "MMA Live" on ESPN2 at 11 p.m. ET
"I have my clothing company [Punishment Athletics], a nutrition line coming out in July and my gym in California," said Ortiz, who is from Huntington Beach, Calif. "I want to put my MMA experience to good use."
That means hopefully following in the path of athlete/actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
"He came from the sports and entertainment industry and showed that he's more than just a wrestler. I want to show that I'm more than just a fighter," said Ortiz, who began wrestling in high school. "I know I have to put the work into it. I didn't become champion without hard work. And this is no different."
And the roles?
"I know I can do action stuff and then take on some drama," he said. "I have looked at roles where I'm a coach and I can do something to inspire children."
"Do I need to sell out that quickly?"
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