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Proud to have Ortiz with us


From: Magnetic 184 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/7/09 11:56 AM
Magnetic Marketing Associates, President
Member Since: 9/6/06
Posts: 1394
 
Thom Ortiz: Getting Better to Give Back More
It is 9:30 on a blistering Arizona morning. In a hot one-room gym in Mesa, fighters are already rolling on the ground, practicing Jiu Jitsu. One fighter looks a little different from the rest.

Thom Ortiz has been responsible for coaching UFC fighters CB Dollaway, Ryan Bader, and Cain Velazquez to collegiate success. Now, the former Arizona State head wrestling coach is making the transition to mixed martial arts, at 42 years young.

Ortiz brings 34 years of wrestling experience to the table. He is helping young fighters like Efrain Escudero and Santino DeFranco improve that aspect of their skill sets.

“My major focus is helping these current MMA guys,” Ortiz said. “They know how to wrestle, but there are the finer details that I can add to their MMA game.”

However, Ortiz has not come to the sport of mixed martial arts as a wrestler. He is working with gyms around Arizona, learning Jiu Jitsu, learning kickboxing. Ortiz is looking to do what some fighters half his age struggle to do; become a well-rounded fighter.

“You really have to be sharp on all aspects if you want to compete at a high level,” Ortiz said. “How am I going to tell a kid to shoot if I don’t know where a punch or a knee is coming from?”

“A lot of wrestlers are going out there without learning the other martial arts,” Ortiz said. “That’s why we’re in here doing Jiu Jitsu. It’s foreign to me, but sometimes Drew [Fickett] tells me, forget about wrestling. Doing too much wrestling will get you in trouble, get you armbarred.”

Mornings Ortiz works on his Jiu Jitsu at Southwest MMA. In the afternoons, he works on kickboxing. All of this work and preparation is being done so that Ortiz can help the next generation of fighters a little more. He is even preparing to step into the ring himself.

“If I’m going to help you, I want to know what you’re going through,” Ortiz said. “When I coached at Arizona State, I’ve been there. I’ve been to the NCAA tournament; I know what you’re going through. So I want to be able to tell these guys, I know what you’re going through [in a cage].”

From a distance, this dedication to helping others might be surprising. But to those who know Ortiz, it’s the kind of coach he is.

“When it came down to us getting into MMA, he did anything and everything to help us out,” said Ryan Bader, who Ortiz coached to three Pac-10 championships. “I support him 100 percent.”

“He was always there for me,” added Cain Velazquez, Bader’s teammate at Arizona State. “He’s a great coach. He’s never led me wrong.”

Ortiz says he gives so much to MMA, and to wrestling before it, because he gets out ten times what he puts in. Growing up in a rough part of Tuscan, Ariz., Ortiz began wrestling at the age of eight. He eventually translated those wrestling skills into a scholarship at ASU, where he received his education and wrestled under legendary coach Bobby Douglas.

With MMA growing in popularity, Ortiz has found another way to give back.

“[The sport is] giving me the opportunity to help these wrestlers find a career,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz recognizes the advantages that a wrestling background can give a fighter. That being said, he knows that the sport is not for everyone.

“It’s not for every wrestler. Not every wrestler likes getting hit,” Ortiz said. “[The sport is] very demanding, requires a lot, but the wrestling mentality is a great foundation for the fighting game.”

Ortiz is working with wrestlers to help them adapt to the fight game, and working with non-wrestlers to help give them a wrestling mentality.

For someone who has practiced a craft for over 30 years, Ortiz is surprisingly open to other styles.

“You let go of your pride and you take everything in to get better, and in turn you make other people get better,” Ortiz said. “I come in with a new attitude. At my age, I can’t afford to be stubborn.”

This is why, after getting tapped out with a triangle, Ortiz jumps up with the enthusiasm of a teenager, ready to try it again. Bader says that Ortiz will continue to better the sport, and he is right. When he is done, the number of fighters that he will have helped will be immense. That list is already growing.


Cameron Gidari is the Associate Editor at MMAMadness.com. He can be reached for comments and questions at cgidari@mmamadness.com.

From: Ecko Unltd 2 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/7/09 12:02 PM
Ecko Unltd/Brawlmall, MMA sponsor
Member Since: 5/28/08
Posts: 1877
 
 ttt. great piece

From: Altofsky 529 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/7/09 12:18 PM
Member Since: 12/17/06
Posts: 24956
 
 As long as you're not talking about Tito...

From: Shiloh Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/7/09 12:34 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 9415
 
 yeah because having tito would surely suck!

/sarcasm

From: cmcgraw 2 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/7/09 1:19 PM
Member Since: 5/20/09
Posts: 19
 
ttt

From: Phil999 Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/7/09 3:22 PM
Member Since: 12/24/03
Posts: 1697
 
one might come to the conclusion that the thread title was deliberately misleading.

From: Tbone58 2 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/7/09 3:29 PM
Member Since: 11/12/08
Posts: 153
 
TTT for my primo

From: Bravo1 100 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/7/09 3:31 PM
Member Since: 3/2/07
Posts: 2229
 
awesome!

From: Magnetic 184 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/7/09 5:25 PM
Magnetic Marketing Associates, President
Member Since: 9/6/06
Posts: 1395
 
Coach Ortiz is a great mentor to these fighters.

From: MMArijuana Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/7/09 5:33 PM
Member Since: 10/16/07
Posts: 413
 
Phil999 - one might come to the conclusion that the thread title was deliberately misleading.



Could've been worse..

"Proud to have T. Ortiz with us"

From: Altofsky 529 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/8/09 11:50 AM
Member Since: 12/17/06
Posts: 24959
 
 "yeah because having tito would surely suck!"

Indeed it would. It's generally not a great idea to have an illiterate associated with your organization. Unless, of course... you're looking for the best light heavyweight... of the night.

From: disbeliever 320 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/8/09 12:12 PM
Member Since: 9/27/03
Posts: 2718
 
Awesome title. That alone will get you 4K views

From: sgavin Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/8/09 12:17 PM
Member Since: 1/31/08
Posts: 6843
 
 Thom Ortiz is one of the best wrestling coaches out there.  Fantastic that MMA brought him in.

From: Shiloh Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile
Posted: 6/8/09 1:24 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 9444
 
Altofsky -  "yeah because having tito would surely suck!"

Indeed it would. It's generally not a great idea to have an illiterate associated with your organization. Unless, of course... you're looking for the best light heavyweight... of the night.
lol ye3ah right. it would suck having tito ortiz involved in your mma company. if its one thing he has proven, its that his name has no value in mma. 

youre a fucking retard. go back to boning your interweb ho dopuchenozzle.
 

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