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Tito Ortiz: This Is Gonna Hurt – The Life of a Mixed Martial Arts Champion Book Review

‘This Is Gonna Hurt’… the first thing that crossed my mind was if the book was prescient, could it tell the future? Was the title of Tito’s autobiography a warning for non fans of Mixed Martial Arts to stay away? Well…

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‘This Is Gonna Hurt’… the first thing that crossed my mind was if the book was prescient, could it tell the future? Was the title of Tito’s autobiography a warning for non fans of Mixed Martial Arts to stay away? Well…

… no actually. Despite opening the book and seeing lettering the size I would expect in a book aimed at 9 year olds this wasn’t too bad. OK, you could claim that most MMA fans are brain dead morons and so need the bigger letters, but then I’d have to hunt you down and hurt you.

Tito Ortiz is a name known to many both in and outside of MMA, a multi time UFC champion, a former Pro Wrestling referee and currently partner of former porn star Jenna Jameson, how could this book not be fascinating? Tito’s story begins, rightly, with him as a child and how he became the person he is today. Parents abusing drugs, Tito himself a dealer before even reaching the age where he could legally buy glue! Running with street gangs and getting into brawls, Tito’s early years had it all, but it’s his teenage years that really shaped him into who we see today. Tito’s experiences in college wrestling that have led him down the path of MMA. From coaches encouraging him and stopping his tears to former UFC champion Tank Abbott giving him what may have been the most important advice in making Ortiz a superstar.

‘He taught me that if you talk the smack, when it comes down to fight time, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose. You talk the smack to make people either love you or hate you. Once they love you or hate you, then they’ll talk about you. If they stop talking about you, then you’ve got problems.’

And that advice has carried over to everything Tito has done in MMA, from pre match smack talking to post match humiliating T Shirts (and the back of the book has a full list of his T Shirts and slogans, well worth it).

Tito comes across in the book far better than expected, sure he’s a cocky, ego driven Alpha male wannabe, but he knows that and plays on it. He admits to it, revels in it. This makes those moments of weakness oddly appealing, almost tender. The way he struggles to talk to women he likes, his feelings about his father and the self loathing from his years of cheating on his (now ex) wife. Sure it’s part of the course these days for celebrities to admit to infidelity and to express regret, but Tito doesn’t shy away from it and makes no real attempt to excuse his behaviour, and that’s all to his credit.

One person who did come over far better than anyone else is his current partner, Jenna Jameson (who has since announced that she is pregnant with Tito’s child, congratulations to them).

OK now for the nitty gritty, what are the books problems?

Well for starters the book reads badly in places, the ghost writer really didn’t do the greatest of jobs with this. In fact I would be willing to bet that Tito and Jenna could have done a better job (or certainly no worse) themselves. And the font size… well it just felt insulting. Much like certain biographies of pro wrestlers, big letters to cover up a small story, which is odd as it’s a compelling tale, language aside.

One thing that did strike me as odd was a mention of Chris Benoit, sure it’s not entirely out of context but it felt like it was added purely to show that the writer was aware of the outside world, maybe even an effort to appeal to pro wrestling fans. Though it wasn’t needed, Tito has been obviously influenced by pro wrestling, and has appeared on TNA wrestling, so that appeal would have either already been there or not.

Would I recommend this? Yeah, I think I would. It’s no ‘Have a Nice Day’, but it’s far better than most wrestling autobiographies, if purely on the story alone. But only if you’re a fan of Mixed Martial Arts, if you’re not then don’t bother.

Points: 8 / 10

Paul Kelly

Buy It:

UK: Book

USA: Book