‘I’m Lost Words’- UFC Legend Tito Ortiz Suffers a Huge Personal Blow Ahead of the Anderson Silva Fight

Published 08/18/2021, 5:30 AM EDT


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people from all walks of life. The MMA community has not been an exception to this. Early last year, during the first wave of the pandemic, the MMA community lost a prominent figure in Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father and coach. To the dismay of fans, the virus has claimed the life of yet another prominent coach in Saul Soliz. 

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Soliz’s long-time friend and associate, John Gomez, took to Facebook to share the news. He stated that Soliz passed away on Friday after “a long hard fight” with COVID-19.

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The output of emotion and condolences from the MMA community has been massive. The likes of Michael Bisping, Adrian Yanez, Cris Cyborg all paid tribute to Soliz, who is also known as “The Godfather of Texas MMA.”

Tito Ortiz pens an emotional message for his coach 

Former UFC champion Tito Ortiz, one of the many fighters under Soliz’s tutelage, shared his thoughts on social media. He said, “This morning around 2am we lost a father, a brother, a coach and one great amazing human being! I’m lost words……..I love you SAUL SOLIZ….. #F**KCOVID. Shame on those doctors!”

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Soliz, who trained Ortiz for a long time now, was also part of the team Ortiz staff on two installations of The Ultimate Fighter. In over two decades of being a coach, Soliz coached many UFC and Pride fighters. 

A list of his students includes all-time greats such as Tito Ortiz, Cris Cyborg, Quinton Jackson, and Mark Coleman. Legends such as Mark Kerr and Kevin Randleman were also under Soliz’s tutelage. Soliz is also the coach of upcoming bantamweights Adrian Yanez and Mana Martinez.

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Losing a coach is something that can affect fighters immensely. Unfortunately for Ortiz, the loss of his coach comes just a few weeks out from his fight against ‘The Spider’ Anderson Silva. As the fight will be Ortiz’s debut as a professional boxer, ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ will be aiming to put on a show for his late coach. 

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Kevin Binoy

1173 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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