Former UFC champion Tito Ortiz is looking to begin a career in pro wrestling at age 45. Chances are he's too old and broken down though.
Does anyone remember a time where the name Tito Ortiz meant something? A time where the UFC Hall of Famer was still relevant?
We’re probably talking almost 15 years ago when Tito did anything of note in MMA. Remember his feud with Ken Shamrock? Those were the days.
That Tito Ortiz is still competing in MMA today is sad. That he’s reportedly embarking on a career in pro wrestling at the age of 45 is even more tragic.
Yeah, we all know WWE is scripted and “fake.” Let’s get that out of the way nice and early, shall we?
What cannot be denied is how taxing the endeavor is on the human body.
We’ve seen the likes of Kurt Angle, the Olympic gold medalist, and the injuries he’s suffered over the years. Angle is only the tip of the iceberg of tragic wrestling stories.
There’s a murky environment attached to pro wrestling that involves long periods on the road traveling, injuries, pain pills and other issues. Granted, the company has taken a lot of steps to clean themselves up of late, but don’t underestimate the physical toll the profession takes on a person.
Tito Ortiz has been competing in combat sports for over 20 years. He made his UFC debut in 1997.
Since then, he’s fought over 30 times, retired, come out of retirement, and went through double neck fusion surgery.
Surgery like that tends to signal the end of a pro wrestler’s career, not the beginning.
Ortiz is also 45 years old. There are wrestlers younger than Ortiz who have retired from the ring. Remember Edge and Christian? They both retired from pro wrestling at a younger age than Tito.
I’m sure fans will point to the likes of Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez as examples of stars who have crossed over.
To an extent, you’re right. But even so, Tito Ortiz finds himself in a different situation to those individuals.
None of those fighters are as old as Ortiz. Cain Velasquez is considered on the older side to be embarking on a pro wrestling career at 37 years old. He’s eight years younger than Ortiz.
When I first saw the link between Ortiz and WWE, I immediately assumed he’d perhaps be doing something with them in a non-athletic role.
One thing the guy always had is charisma. He knows how to work a crowd, and his recent political affiliations with President Trump certainly got people fired up.
Is there an angle for him to work as a wrestling personality? Absolutely. Maybe he’s training for a part-time role as a wrestler? That could certainly work.
As an actual in-ring competitor, though? He’s too old and broken down for that.