Tito Ortiz is 'The People's Champ'

October, 17, 2011
10/17/11
4:45
PM ET
By Jon Robinson

Tito Ortiz wants fight fans to know that he's no longer "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy."

That's right, the MMA legend, and one time baddest of the bad boys is now going by a new nickname: "The People's Champ."

"I signed over 15,000 autographs last weekend at the UFC fan expo," Ortiz tells me as we talk about his career resurgence, including a roster spot in the upcoming "UFC Undisputed 3" video game. "The first day I stood there for seven and a half hours. The second day I was there for over six hours. They had to kick me out. It was a lot of fun."

Besides putting pen to paper, another way the former champ is hanging with his peeps online in games of "Call of Duty: Black Ops."

I'm a big 'Call of Duty' guy," Ortiz tells me, "and I'll go on Twitter (@tittoortiz) and let fans know that I'm about to play 'Black Ops' so we can actually go in and play together.

"I love 'Black Ops' and 'Modern Warfare.' I like to play the UFC games as well, but I train and fight so much myself, the 'Call of Duty' games allow me to do something different. I started 'Modern Warfare 2' and I really never stopped. I go online with my friends and we tear it up. It's fun. It's my social outlet. I get to be myself. A lot of people talk trash to me while we play and we just have a great time."

Jon Robinson: I was at your fight against Ryan Bader and the look on your face after you won was one of such pure joy, I can't remember seeing you that happy before. What did that moment mean to you?

Tito Ortiz: It meant that everything had paid off. My whole legacy, my whole career depended on that fight. I trained really hard and had some great guys around me training with me. It was almost like winning my world title. A lot of people didn't believe in me. A lot of people couldn't believe that I was still here. I had neck surgery, lower back surgery and a lot of athletes don't compete after that. I showed that I'm able to compete against the best guys in the world, and I think that will help show people that if they believe in themselves, if they believe in their dream, they can accomplish anything. That's why I changed my name to The People's Champ. I want everyone to know that I'm here for the fans. I want them to know that they can bounce back from anything.

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