MMA legend Questions How Tito Ortiz Was Able to Master Weight Cutting in Early Days of UFC

In a revealing interview, UFC legend Ken Shamrock has raised questions about how his former rival Tito Ortiz was able to master the art of weight cutting so effectively in the early days of mixed martial arts.

Shamrock opened up about his own struggles with cutting weight for the first time before his second UFC title fight against Ortiz. He vividly described the grueling experience of dropping from 218-220 lbs down to 200 lbs through aggressive weight cutting.

“I went from 218, 220 pounds down to 200. I’d never cut weight before. And I started to cut and I crashed. I mean, I couldn’t stop…I think I weighed in at 201 or something stupid like that. I’ve never been that light before,” Shamrock recalled.

However, it was Ortiz’s ability to regain significant size after the weigh-ins that raised Shamrock’s suspicions about potential foul play.

“I look at him, he’s twice as big as he was the night before we did weights,” Shamrock said, clearly surprised at Ortiz’s dramatic weight fluctuation in a short period.

Shamrock contrasted his own lack of experience and scientific approach to Ortiz’s seeming mastery over the weight cutting process. “I was just from the streets and we just did what we did. Right. And so you’re cutting and thinking I’m doing the right thing.”

The MMA legend then questioned how Ortiz could have gained such a significant weight advantage so quickly. “I grabbed [Ortiz], it was like a friggin’ tree trunk. And I’m like, okay, I need to go back to the drawing board because I need to figure out what the hell they’re doing, because that is not natural.”

Shamrock’s comments highlight the lack of regulation and oversight surrounding weight cutting techniques in the early UFC era. His skepticism about Ortiz’s ability to bulk up rapidly after weighing in suggests he believed his rival may have used illicit methods to gain an unfair advantage.

“It seems like everybody in the U.S. was on something. Right. And everybody was doing it – it was like a free for all in those days,” Shamrock stated, referring to the rampant PED use among fighters in the UFC’s formative years.

While acknowledging the issue, Shamrock was quick to point out that he always did things “the proper way” under medical supervision. “I was always under a doctor’s care. That’s why I’m where I’m at now. I’m healthy, I have no issues.”

While the truth may never be known, Shamrock’s perspective offers a glimpse into the wild landscape of MMA’s beginnings, when policies were sparse and fighters were left to navigate grey areas on their own.