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Tito Ortiz avoids jail after pleading no-contest to DUI charge

Esther Lin

Former UFC light heavyweight champion and current Bellator fighter Tito Ortiz has avoided a jail sentence in his driving under the influence case.

TMZ.com reported on Wednesday that the 39-year-old resident of Huntington Beach, Calif., full name Jacob Christopher Ortiz, pleaded no contest to a DUI charge stemming from a January incident. MMAFighting.com confirmed the report with the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles.

While Ortiz could have received up to six months in county jail under California vehicle codes 23152 (A) and 23152 (B), a plea of no-contest will keep him out of jail. A first-time offender, Ortiz will instead do three years' probation and must enroll in and complete an alcohol education program.

Ortiz was arrested on Jan. 13 in Los Angeles after crashing his Porsche on the median of Interstate 405. Ortiz and two passengers were returning from an evening at the Playboy Mansion in nearby Beverly Hills when the incident occurred around 4 a.m.

The UFC Hall of Famer retired from the sport in July, 2012, after his UFC 148 loss to Forrest Griffin in Las Vegas. He announced his return to the sport last year and was scheduled to fight Quinton Jackson in November, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a neck injury. He's now scheduled to face Alexander Shlemenko on Bellator's May 17 pay-per-view event in the Memphis area.

Ortiz did not respond to a request for comment.