UFC fighter Tito Ortiz will guest star in “Numb3rs” Friday, Feb. 16 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
In the episode, Don (Rob Morrow) and the FBI investigate the mysterious death of a mixed-martial arts fighter after he dies in the ring while training for a championship match with his sparring partner. David’s (Alimi Ballard) friend becomes the main suspect after the FBI learns that the victim was poisoned, and another fighter who sparred with him also died in the ring while training. David tries to find evidence to clear the fighter even though they believe that he might have been knocking off the competition to improve his ranking in the league. Ortiz plays Tino Alva, the defending champion in the all-out fighting league.
Tito Ortiz is one of the most popular, and most controversial, martial arts competitors in the world. Ortiz had a rough and tumble childhood before coming under the tutelage of a legendary high school wrestling coach, Paul Herrara. After placing fourth in the California State High School Championships, Ortiz went on to wrestle first in junior college and then while a student at Cal State Bakersfield. In 1997, still in college and an amateur, Ortiz competed for no money in his first mixed martial arts bout, subduing his opponent in the first round with a barrage of punches, and quickly established a reputation as a scrappy and impudent competitor who grinds his opponents into total submission. Ortiz is known for donning t-shirts after each victory with insolent legends who insulted his opponents. These colorful deeds were to become his trademark, adding to his popularity but also engendering loathing by the fans of his opponents.
In 1999 Ortiz battled Wanderlei (“The Axe Murderer”) Silva for the Ultimate Fighting Championship Light Heavyweight title and went on to defend the belt five times in the following three years, defeating all contenders, including his arch-rival, Ken (“Lion’s Den”) Shamrock, before he went on a hiatus from the UFC. During his break, Ortiz became a part of the professional wrestling scene when he signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as a guest referee and helped promote several celebrated championship matches.
In April 2006 Ortiz returned victoriously to UFC competition. He recently fought against UFC World Light Heavyweight Champion, Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell in UFC 66. In addition to his mixed-martial arts career, Ortiz has had roles in several feature films, most notably Cradle 2 the Grave and the controversial Turkish film Valley of the Wolves: Iraq. He also has developed a clothing line he calls Team Punishment.