This Month’s MMA Birthdays: Tito Ortiz Turns 40

By: Brian Knapp
Jan 6, 2015
Tito Ortiz turns 40 on Jan. 23. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com



One of 11 men to have captured the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight crown, Tito Ortiz will celebrate his 40th birthday on Jan. 23.

Ortiz made his professional MMA debut inside the Octagon in May 1997 and claimed the 205-pound championship a little more than two years later, when he defeated Wanderlei Silva by unanimous decision at UFC 25 in Tokyo. “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” made a record five consecutive successful title defenses, turning away Yuki Kondo, Evan Tanner, Elvis Sinosic, Vladimir Matyushenko and Ken Shamrock; it was a mark that stood for more than a decade. Despite surrendering the belt to Randy Couture in 2003, Ortiz remained one of the UFC’s most visible and bankable stars until he exited the organization in July 2012. He was inducted into the Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Fame as part of the festivities for UFC 148. Ortiz still ranks first on the UFC’s all-time list in career appearances (27) and sixth in victories (15).

Though well past his prime, Ortiz resurfaced in Bellator MMA in May, when he submitted Alexander Shlemenko with a first-round arm-triangle choke. He then captured a unanimous decision from Stephan Bonnar in the Bellator 131 main event on Nov. 15, posting consecutive wins for the first time in more than eight years.

Those in MMA celebrating a birthday during the month of January:

Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com

Lineker, 25, on Jan. 1.

JAN. 1

Guy Mezger (47)
Eiji Mitsuoka (39)
John Lineker (25)

JAN. 2

Mac Danzig (35)

JAN. 3

Rodney Glunder (40)

JAN. 4

Kimo Leopoldo (47)
Vladimir Matyushenko (44)
Shane Carwin (40)
Donny Walker (35)
Jose Maria Tome (33)
Jin Suk Jung (31)
Jung Min Kang (29)

JAN. 5

John Gunderson (36)
Takahiro Suzuki (28)

JAN. 6

Kalib Starnes (40)
Wilson Reis (30)

JAN. 8

Tara LaRosa (37)
Ertan Balaban (32)

Photo: Alan Ribeiro de Oliveira/Sherdog.com

Shields, 36, on Jan. 9.

JAN. 9

Pete Spratt (44)
Jake Shields (36)

JAN. 10

Mickey Hughes (36)
Matt Brown (34)

JAN. 11

Rafael Cavalcante (34)
Muhammed Lawal (34)
Peter Sobotta (28)

JAN. 12

Ikuhisa Minowa (39)
Young Bok Gil (30)

JAN. 13

George Allen (48)
Leigh Remedios (39)
Justin Hawes (36)
Dennis Siver (36)

JAN. 14

Matt Riddle (29)

Photo: Ryan O’Leary/MMAViking.com

Gustafsson, 28, on Jan. 15.

JAN. 15

Alexandre Franca Nogueira (37)
Nobuhiro Obiya (34)
Yuki Nishigo (30)
Andrew Craig (29)
Efrain Escudero (29)
Alexander Gustafsson (28)
Michael McDonald (24)

JAN. 16

Paul Buentello (41)
Hyun Gyu Lim (30)

JAN. 17

Gary Goodridge (49)
Dusan Dzakic (28)
Alexander Sarnavskiy (26)

JAN. 18

Neil Grove (44)
Jeff Monson (44)
Yoshikazu Fujiishi (37)
Luis Ramos (34)
Miguel Torres (34)
Marcin Held (23)

JAN. 19

Aritano Silva Barbosa (36)
Dustin Poirier (26)

JAN. 21

Francisco France (32)
Edson Barboza (29)

JAN. 22

Min Soo Kim (40)
Luigi Fioravanti (34)
Tomasz Drwal (33)
Ji Hoon Kim (33)

JAN. 23

Tito Ortiz (40)

JAN. 24

Akira Maeda (56)
Jamall Johnson (33)

JAN. 25

Ron van Clief (72)
Jorge Gurgel (38)
Paulo Thiago (34)
John Quinn (32)
Mike Easton (31)

JAN. 26

Dan Bobish (45)
Carmelo Marrero (34)
Rafaello Oliveira (33)

Photo: Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com

Pettis, 28, on Jan. 27.

JAN. 27

Tony Sylvester (37)
Klay Konrad (33)
Anthony Pettis (28)

JAN. 28

Tim Boetsch (34)
Jesse Fujarczyk (32)
Brandon Saling (29)

JAN. 29

Stephen Palling (48)
Kazuyuki Miyata (39)

JAN. 30

Rob Kimmons (34)

JAN. 31

Akira Shoji (41)
Kengo Watanabe (39)
Maciej Jewtuszko (34)
Shunichi Shimizu (30)
Renan Barao (28)
Kirill Sukhomlinov (27)

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