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Meltzer, Dave (January 27, 2014). "Jan 27 2014 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2013 Annual awards issue, best in the world in numerous categories, plus all the news in pro-wrestling and MMA over the past week and more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 35. ISSN 1083-9593.
At the age of nineteen, Ortiz ran into an old high school wrestling coach, a future UFC fighter and an assistant wrestling coach at Golden West College, Paul Herrera, who encouraged him to enroll in the college. Ortiz then began attending Golden West, where he was a California junior college state champion and All-American for two consecutive years before transferring to California State University at Bakersfield, where he continued wrestling but was never a full-time starter. Ortiz also trained with UFC fighter and fellow collegiate wrestler, Tank Abbott.
In 1999, Ortiz fought Frank Shamrock for what is now known as the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 22. Despite controlling Shamrock for the majority of the fight, Ortiz ended up losing via submission due to strikes. Following the victory, Shamrock retired and vacated the championship. The Middleweight division was then officially renamed the Light Heavyweight (205 lb) division and Ortiz was chosen, along with Wanderlei Silva, as a top contender. Ortiz defeated Silva for the vacant Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 25 via unanimous decision. He went on to defend the Light Heavyweight Championship a then-record five times in the following three years, defeating Yuki Kondo, Evan Tanner, Elvis Sinosic, Vladimir Matyushenko and Lion's Den head Ken Shamrock. At UFC 44, after a near year-long layoff from the sport, Ortiz fought the new Interim Light Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture, who had defeated Chuck Liddell for the interim title at UFC 43 in September 2003. Couture defeated Ortiz via unanimous decision. The loss ended Ortiz's near three and a half year title reign, which was the longest Light Heavyweight Championship reign until Jon Jones successfully defended the Light Heavyweight Championship for the sixth time on September 21, 2013. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)