Thursday, June 3, 2021

UFC legend Ortiz steps down from Huntington Beach mayor role citing ‘character assassination’ and fears for family safety (VIDEO)

Tito Ortiz announced he was stepping down from his role in California. © Getty Images via AFP

UFC legend Tito Ortiz has stepped down from his role as Huntington Beach mayor pro tem while citing personal attacks and voicing concerns for both his safety and that of his family when explaining the move on Tuesday.

Ortiz, a former light heavyweight champion of the elite MMA promotion and one of its early old school stars, took office back in December.

Receiving 42,000 votes, this was the biggest tally in poll history for the highest office in the California community he hails from.

Yet just some six months since taking over the reins, he has already decided to leave his first big political role.

"I was under the notion that I was in a bi-partisan position and that we all had a common goal that our city and our constituents could have. To put it frankly, that’s not the case," said Ortiz while reading from a statement at a city council meeting where he announced the shock resignation.

"From Day 1, I was sworn in and I was met with hostility and judgment.  Being a public figure, nothing is new. However, to be the sole focus of character assassination each and every week, with multiple news stories and leaked personal information – all of which were in hopes to slander and defame my name," he continued.

"I thought I was up to this job, but I knew I had over 40,000 constituents who were there counting on me. As of recent, the attacks against me moved to involve my family.

"I now feel [that] their safety is in danger. To put it simply, this job isn’t working for me," he confessed.

After Ortiz made the announcement, council went into recess but the remaining members did not pass any comment on the matter when they returned.

His relationship was long rocky with his colleagues, though, who he accused of singling him out for his conservative views which have included refusals to wear a facemask and get the vaccine to protect himself against Covid-19.

Running under a "Make Huntington Beach Safe Again" slogan in tribute to Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" counterpart, Ortiz told a group of sympathizers to the ex-US president "We’ve got to be on the right side of history, the good side of history" at a December "Stop the Steal" rally opposing the election of Joe Biden.

"This is good versus evil. I don’t want a communist country," Ortiz said, yet this was only the beginning of his controversies at the helm.

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