Tito Ortiz‘s next fight appears to be against the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).
The UFC Hall of Famer’s Dec. 7 win over former WWE champion Alberto “Del Rio” Rodriguez at Combate Americas 51 was overturned by the TDLR last month to a no contest (or no decision), and sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday that Ortiz is fighting the disciplinary action.
The TDLR, the regulatory body for the event, did not give a public explanation for why it overturned Ortiz’s victory, which came via first-round submission in the pay-per-view main event in McAllen, Texas. The no-contest result is reflected on MMA’s official record-keeper, MixedMartialArts.com.
“This is a BS claim and will get overturned,” Ortiz wrote Wednesday night on Instagram. “I promise you all. Sad way to get attention at my expense.”
TDLR did not immediately respond when reached for comment by ESPN. Department public information officer Tela Mange told MMA Junkie that the Ortiz vs. Rodriguez result was overturned “pending further investigation.”
Sources told ESPN that Ortiz was suspended by the TDLR for a “violation of rules” last month, but the suspension ended Jan. 31. Sources said Ortiz tested positive for a substance banned in Texas in an in-competition drug test in relation to the Rodriguez bout. However, Ortiz disclosed he was taking the substance — which was not a performance-enhancing drug — to the TDLR before the fight, sources said.
Despite the disclosure, sources said, the TDLR opened a complaint against Ortiz and overturned his victory, pending an investigation. There is a possibility that Ortiz’s win will be reinstated at the conclusion of the investigation, sources said.
Requests for comment from Ortiz’s team were not returned this week to ESPN.
Ortiz (20-12-1, 1 NC) is one of the most popular fighters in MMA history and one of the UFC’s building blocks during the early 2000s. “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” was 4-1 heading into the Rodriguez bout since he left the UFC in 2012. The fight against Rodriguez was billed as MMA vs. WWE — and Ortiz was granted Rodriguez’s old WWE title belt with his submission victory.