Citing Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Radio, Fightful is reporting that Tito Ortiz is currently training at the WWE Performance Center, as he continues his efforts to make the transition from mixed martial arts into professional wrestling. While it remains to be seen if WWE is interested in bringing him in full-time, Meltzer notes that company officials have been impressed with his efforts so far.
“Tito Ortiz is training to be a professional wrestler at the Performance Center as we speak. Maybe not right this moment, but he was there all week. I heard great things about his work ethic, which doesn’t surprise me. [Also,] his enthusiasm, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. The negative is that Tito Ortiz is 45-years-old and he’s got a really bad neck, and a bad back and, you know, things like that. But, yeah, he wants to be a pro wrestler.”
The UFC legend is no stranger to professional wrestling, either. He previously enjoyed a stint in Impact Wrestler as a member of the Aces and Eights faction, and he recently fought Alberto El Patron — known as Alberto Del Rio in WWE — at a Combate Americas event.
The report also highlights how Ortiz has expressed an interest in joining WWE in the past. The MMA fighter wants to face heavyweight superstars like Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman, and he believes his martial arts and wrestling ability — coupled with his size — will make him a good match for superstars of that mold.
As documented by Wrestling Inc, Ortiz also revealed that he had an audition with WWE back in the early 2000s, but he was caught off guard during a promo segment with the Brooklyn Brawler. According to the former UFC Hall of Famer, he was “too polite and politically correct” for WWE at the time.
If Ortiz joins WWE, he will follow Cain Velasquez as the latest MMA veteran to make the move to the company. Velasquez fought Lesnar in a match for the WWE Championship back in October, but he lost in a matter of seconds and hasn’t appeared on television since.
It remains to be seen if Ortiz will join WWE, but if he continues to impress during training, the company might find a place for him on the card. While he’s arguably too old to enjoy a lengthy wrestling career at the top, he could be a star attraction in a short-term storyline.